What I think about when I am riding

I would say it has not been the best week, on a local or global level. On Wednesday evening, two cyclists were killed in San Francisco in separate incidents involving reckless driving. The following day, a majority of people in my home country stuck two fingers up (the slightly milder British version of the middle finger) at politicians who have generally disregarded them for years, as well as at the rest of the continent, and, really, the rest of the world.
I was surprised how reading about the vote gave me such a sinking feeling. Perhaps it was a sense of how long this is going to take to unfold enough to be able to see what the consequences actually look like. Reading about the deaths gave me a sinking feeling on a more immediate level, knowing that there is little one can do in those circumstances if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Since my Friday morning was unusually free, I went out to ride again. In the city some fog was lingering; the closer I got to the bridge, the thicker it was. If I lived in the Presidio, and did not think to go elsewhere, I can imagine how easy it would be to imagine that the fog went on forever. Once across the bridge, the blue sky seemed almost endless, until I was back down by the ocean at Stinson Beach, where it was rising delicately off the lagoon. Once again, though, I climbed out of it on the Bolinas-Fairfax Road, and up on Tam, the breeze felt very warm. I fell in with a couple of riders on the seven sisters; since one of them turned out to be English, we had a little mither at the turn of events, and then we set off down the mountain at our own speeds.
I was never much of a daredevil at the best of times; now I am even more cautious. I still try to take descents skilfully, and have learnt that, though it may seem contradictory, relaxing around corners can help navigate them more smoothly.
Then, at Four Corners above Muir Woods, I was turning left off the Panoramic, where there is no stop, and I had a clear road, only to almost collide with a person who had turned out of the line of people waiting at the stop to drive up the opposite lane to make a left turn. I met him with a volley of swear words, but decided against chasing him down to ask what on earth he had been thinking. One of the waiting drivers commiserated, and I went even more carefully the rest of the way home.

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