Posts Tagged ‘Dinosaur’
Posted on June 19, 2010 - by Nadia
Day 15: June 18, 2010
Canyon Pinturado to west gate, Dinosaur National Monument
Oh, this is the part everyone said was boring, boring, but riveting — eyes constantly toggling between looking back to see the next jackass oil field worker bearing down on me, and glancing ahead to see my best exit ramp if I need to bail on the white stripe that serves as my bike lane. Not a bad diversion as I rolled through Rangeley to Dinosaur, then on to Jeser, Utah rolling though high prairie. The high point: remarkable cactus blooms splashing improbable pinks and yellows beneath the sage.
Attention, gentlemen of the oil and gas fields. There are two pedals at your feet. One is the gas. You seem familiar with that. The other is known as the brake. If you sense that you are overtaking a biker at the same time as oncoming traffic, experiment with the brake and let the other car go rather than squeezing yourself between the biker and the car. A flick of the gas pedal and you’ll be right back on pace.
While I have your attention, let’s talk about the lines on the road. The yellow one, if you were to stop and take a look, is just a line. It is not an impenetrable force field, or a virtual wall. You may, if there is no oncoming traffic, cross this line in order to give bikes or pedestrians on the shoulder save passageway. In Colorado, this is actually law, when safe cross the solid line to put three feet between you and a bike. On the other side of your lane is a white line. It too is just paint. It confers no special protections on people traveling to the right of it – it’s not a force field either. Like so many abstractions, these lines are only as powerful as the minds that grasp their meaning. They are special suggestions. Actual common-sense requires that you engage your brain in order to proceed safely for a lifetime on the highway.
Congratulations to the pickup truck drivers of the extensive oil and gas play from the Douglas field through the Rangely field, you are by far the worst drivers I’ve encountered on my trip. The men you will become, the one’s in the RVs, they are a distant second. The men and women with the really tough job, the big rig drivers, they’re pros. They know that avoiding trouble equals saving time in a way that crossing the line just doesn’t. They’re the cream of the crop in today’s poll. To those of you who are exceptions to today’s lousy driver pool: thanks, and teach your brothers well.
The bright spot today: With all the rain, the cactus have burst into bloom and spots of bright pink and light yellow peek out from the sage on the most unlikely hillsides.