I rode down to Eugene Friday night after work to attend their monthly Bike Night held at the Sonic Drive In in Springfield. I enjoy standing around talking bikes and meeting new riders.
I am sure Sonic Drive In has a fantastic menu but as with most fast food chains, they lack anything resembling vegetarian fare. French fries and tater tots do not constitute a veggie meal. So I stopped at a Cafe Yumm on my way...
I came into town from the north of a very busy beltway and was stopped in the left turn lane turning east when I spotted the sign for the cafe straight ahead on the right. I made the left turn and moved over to the right lane and made a right turn to go around the block then into a Chevron gas station parking lot so I could position myself to turn right, move left across four lanes of traffic of Gateway Street into the cafe parking lot on the west side of the street. Local bloggers know this part of town and this road, as all the road construction going on, the disabled traffic lights and the new Cabela's store that just opening recently.
I had planned to wait until the light down the street to my right turned green and then slip into moving traffic and merge over to the left turning lane. Unfortunately, during rush hour traffic courtesy can become your worst enemy. One car stops to let me in and now I am stuck in stalled traffic, I sneak over one more lane and am now perpendicular behind a stopped car and in front of a truck in the left lane. The oncoming traffic to my right is clear and I move out to cross the remaining lanes when I caught a bright red Ford Mustang in my left peripheral.
Oh Shit! I made a mistake! I didn't even consider that a car would be traveling down the left turning lane. Of course, I should have known. People will drive two blocks in the turning lane to make a left turn just so not to sit in traffic. I could blame the driver but I was in the wrong, it was my mistake and can only be thankful that they must have seen my front wheel, stopped and waited for me to cross. I am also thankful they stayed off the horn as not to scare the living crap out of me. Courtesy was my friend that time and saved my ass. Thank you... sorry.
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Trobairitz said she was glad she wasn't with me and my response was that I never would have threaded traffic like that had I not been by myself. So why did I do it? I couldn't have turned left, traffic was gridlocked. I should have turned right, traveled north through the intersection I came in on, away from the busy traffic then turned around and came back, positioning myself in the right lane to make a right turn into the parking lot.
I am human, I made a mistake and I learned from it. Maybe a Sonic burger isn't so bad because being a vegetarian is downright dangerous.