For some reason, I decided to start this whole blog thing up while traveling in Spain on my vacation. Spain is not, perhaps, a country oft-traveled by cyclists. So why did I come here? Well, I received a free plane ticket to Madrid, which fit my nonprofit employee budget very well. Plus I speak Spanish, so that’s rather convenient.
So far, the cycling in Spain has been fabulous; even though people warned me they’d heard bad things. Admittedly, I haven’t yet spent too much time cycling in cities, but while cycling through the more rural areas on minor highways between towns, I’ve been given tons of respect on the road. In fact, most of the motor vehicles pass me at least a car-width away, which has been very nice. Of course it’s also apparently the case that Spain has the highest percentage of crashes in Europe, so maybe I’m just getting lucky.
The one time I have felt uncomfortable thus far (due to drivers) was when I was at the end of a 4 hour ride (read: I was not paying 100% attention because I was slightly bonked), and I was looking down at the road to stretch my neck. Of course, before doing this I looked and there was no one behind me, just a truck approaching towards me in the far lane. When I looked up there was a bus passing the truck in the lane right next to me, coming towards me. It was passing the truck, and I hadn't seen it behind the truck earlier. I was in the shoulder and the bus was firmly in the lane, but still I nearly had a heart attack because if I had not looked up and I’d swerved at the wrong time or something, that would have been that. Whew.
I'm sure we've all had those "that could have been really, really, REALLY bad--but it wasn't, I got lucky" moments. Tick one off on the good karma meter, I suppose.