From the caltrain station downtown, I hop on my bike. First checking my helmet. The front and tail lights. I get into the taxi stand area, aware that a taxi could very well make an U-turn right there. I watch carefully as more intrepid riders around me dash off crossing Townsend. The coast is clear and I ride across to the bike lane on the opposite side.
Then I start pedaling. Rhythmic. Sometimes I overtake the other riders who pass me. Usually these are the slow ones—the ones on mountain bikes or hybrid. Or perhaps it’s a guy with tons of panniers, the weight slowing him down, but not his fearlessness.
I am fearful as I ride my bike down. A little less fearful than a few years ago. But I always look when I cross intersections, not trusting any cars or any riders. I wait until cars complete crossing the intersection so that I have a clear view of any potential obstructions. Safe, I move forward. I past the startups along Townsend. The Zynga. The airbnb. The Adobe.
Then the traffic circle. I eye all the drivers at the intersection. Especially the ones that look confused and lost. Don’t crash into me. See me. Now.