When I leave the office on my bike at rush hour, I think I am going to die. It’s a very real possibility. I look for cars that start to slow down and not turn on their turn signals, thinking they will plow their cars straight into me. Or I think of the cars that are racing home and go through the intersection on a red light trying to get to the freeway entrance. I look for the Ubers and Lyft cars double parked in the bike lane or that swiftly move into the lane without signaling to pick up passengers. Then, out of nowhere are the drivers who open their car doors into the bike lane. Last but not least are the pedestrians who do not look and walk straight into your lane, causing you to swerve into traffic to avoid a collision. Fellow cyclists also suck too. Why race past me, cutting me off to only be stuck at the next stop light? Road rage is real.
Sometimes if I get a few green lights, I pick up the pace, and start to get into a nice rhythm and cadence, knowing full well, I am going a little to fast to stop suddenly for any obstruction. It is the price you pay for feeling the wind at your back.
Riding my bike during rush hour makes me actively think drivers need to be more aware. Every time I get into the drivers seat, I recognize my actions have the ability to cause real and serious harm to someone else. This is what I think about every day from 4:30-6:30 pm, from Folsom to Duboce park.
The boy who sits next to me in Stats borrows my erasure every day. He has his own but mine erases better. He is around the same age as me, gets better grades, is hardworking, volunteers, a veteran, bilingual and male. We both are applying to nursing programs.
The girl who sits a few seats away from me, bilingual, latina, around the same age, mother of two, hardworking, gets good grades, volunteers, and is also applying to similar programs.
As I begin to craft my applications, I find the competition to be more fierce than undergraduate applications. When life experience are very diverse, how do you judge one person’s acceptance over another? How do you stand out and be different?