Before I continue with my analysis of bike commuter routes, it’s important to understand the bike commuter’s credo: cars are assault rifles.
Let it dictate how you choose your best route to work. That may sound harsh, but it’s nothing against cars or assault rifles. It’s just that cars can hit you, by accident or on purpose. Either way, the results are going to be dire, just like being shot by an assault rifle.
Wearing a helmet isn’t going to save you all the time, nor is taking the right of way when you clearly have it as a car is bearing down. Never think that a car is going to do the right thing. Assume the driver will do the wrong thing, and be ready.
I’ll tell you how well that served me: In my 45 years of daily bike commuting (except for six months when my job required driving) I never had a bike-car accident. But hundreds of close-calls.
However, I’ve had more than one bike-bike accident, which says something but the meaning is open to interpretation.
Over the years, I became less interested in the shortest/fastest route to work and more interested in taking streets with light traffic. It’s all about playing the odds. Keep that thought in mind.
The more you mix with high-speed traffic, especially large trucks (heavy artillery), the greater your risk. Additionally, study after study has shown that riding next to air-polluting cars is bad for your lungs, not to mention your hearing from cars buzzing by.
Next up I’ll discuss a couple of other routes I took and why they fell to the wayside, including San Tomas Expressway.