10% perception

90% congestion

On my commute this morning, I felt I just didn’t have my legs. My thighs were like jelly and I couldn’t push into any of the climbs. By contrast, on the way home in the evening I felt good and I was regularly pushing a little more, and a little more.

Let’s see how those perceptions turned out by the numbers:

GPS summaries of morning and evening commute
Perception vs congestion

The evening commute time was actually 11 seconds longer. Combined with a slightly shorter distance, that made for a slower average speed.

Not shown above is the total elapsed time: a respectable 43 minutes in the morning, and a whopping 50 minutes in the evening. And that tells the true story — there was a lot more traffic congestion in the evening, and the good pace I was making when things were clear was coming down to a crawl for long stretches where cars and trucks were backed up at traffic lights.

Close call No. 1

I had a close call on my morning commute, and not from playing chicken with the traffic. When I get to the office I pass through the gate and then down a long sidewalk along one side of the building until I reach the rear, where I turn a corner and park my bike. After locking up the bike this morning and letting Nana know I’d arrived safely, I started back around the building on foot towards the entrance. But just as I reached the corner, one of my colleagues came flying around from the other direction on her bicycle. If I’d been half a second earlier it would have been a quite painful collision. (She didn’t apologize for it, either.)

I’m very happy to say that in the end there was no harm done. (I always take it very easy at that spot myself because I’m aware of the potential for exactly what happened today.)

Close call No. 2

I had a similar close call on the commute home this evening. I’d left Dionysus locked in the basement parking and took the elevator to the first floor to check the mail. As I emerged, a very large man nearly ran me over in his hurry to catch the elevator I’d just stepped out of — and he was running! Once again, no harm done, but I do wonder about people who don’t think there might be others emerging from elevators, coming around corners from the opposite direction, etc.

Like the woman on her bicycle a few minutes earlier, while I was still on the way home, who rode off the sidewalk and into the street without checking to see that I was already coming up from behind on the street. In that case I was watching and expecting her to make that move, so it wasn’t a close call at all.

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