I didn't ride to work yesterday because my body was completely wiped from the rides on Sunday and Monday and I was too much of a wuss to work through it. I did, however, miss my being on my bike so much that I rode it up to Safeway for some post-work grocery shopping. I wore my work clothes (yay, cycle chic; or at least as chic as I ever get) and my little Bell W/O blinky lights. Unfortunately, I didn't consider the fact that the day's light was pretty dim when I set out and would be completely dark by the time I escaped the check-out line. Oops.
In fact, Scott called as I loaded up my basket (and I do mean loaded. good thing I have a bungee net to keep the overflowing groceries from spilling into the street) and asked if he needed to rescue me. I am a self-rescuing princess most of the time and decline his offer, sure that my little blinky lights would keep me safe. I did set the front light on non-blinky mode so that I could actually see the road and not give myself a seizure.
Problem the first: I was wearing my work clothes. My non-reflective, dark work clothes. Dummy.
Problem the second: Front LED light is decent for twilight visibility but not so good for illuminating the road ahead of me.
Problem the third: The neighborhood I ride through to avoid the traffic on Sterling Blvd has no street lights.
Problem the fourth: I just bought a super bright LED headlight and taillight and left those suckers on the dining room table.
That ride home was the scariest damn thing I have ever done. Every time a car came up behind me, I started praying "please see me, please see me". Every time a car came towards me, I prayed the exact same thing. The intersection with the boulevard where I would turn left in my truck but go straight on the bike NEVER has anyone turning left from the other side. NEVER. And of course, last night there was a car turning left. My guardian angel kept me safe and the driver saw me. I rode slowly through the neighborhood (see: dim headlight) and kept as close to the curb as I could. I usually take the lane so I'm not weaving in and out of parked cars, but I didn't trust the occasional neighborhood traffic to see me.
I made it home safe and mostly sound although I was pretty shakey, and I promised myself that I wouldn't leave the good lights at home. Yes, I know I did some very stupid things last night; there's no need to berate me in comments. I can and do learn from my mistakes.