The Seattle Times reports on the recent increase in cycling accidents
because of the new SLUT (as we affectionately like to call South Lake Union Transit) trolley tracks. Though my ego is begging me not to, I admit, I have a souvenir bruise and a rash from an encounter with the insidious grooves along Westlake Avenue. I was speeding along, marveling at how well my (seemingly fat enough) bakfiets tires would criss-cross the rails. It was wet, and I was marveling a bit too much, when one more slalom across the track resulted in a perfect slam-down and slide across the pavement.
Embarrassing, yes. Educational, yes. I need fatter tires. I could slow down a bit. What's my hurry? I could marvel a bit less and focus on staying between the tracks or to one side.
The environmental think tank founder quoted in the Times calls this a case of "bicycle neglect" by the city transportation planners. Portland has a provision in its transportation planning guidelines to separate trolley tracks from known bicycle thoroughfares. I know we keep kissing Portland's ass when it comes to alternative transportation planning, but (for a US city) they really are good at it. No use crying. I'm still using Westlake.
In the meantime, what can we do about it? Ride more, ride fatter tires, take our time, enjoy the ride and make ourselves into shining examples of citizens who know their way around the city and thrive as a bicycle commuters.