that title is something i preach and strive to follow when out on the road. but, there are times when i'm not 100% focused - constantly scanning the road and actively looking for things/situations that could cause me harm. those times usually happen when the pace is relaxed and there's seemingly less to worry about; like on an easy section of a spirited ride or as tonight on the communte home.
i came close to killing or potentially maiming someone.
after cresting a small rise about 100m ahead of me a bus was just pulling away from the curb (right) lane to the left lane. i began changing to the curb lane while scanning for traffic parked in the curb lane ahead of the bus as i assumed that's why the bus had pulled into my lane. sure enough there was a car parked ahead and i knew i wasn't going to clear the bus before i got to the car so i moved back to the left lane. by this time that 100m had passed and i was at the pedestrian controlled light about 10m past where the bus had been stopped.
by now you can probably guess what was about to happen. it was night and this person was wearing jeans, a dark hoodie, had dark hair and was wearing glasses with wire rimmed frames - that's how close it was. from the time i first saw them to when i stopped was maybe just over a second. in that time they had moved from about the middle of the curb lane to the centre of the left lane that i was in, a distance of maybe 2m at the very most.
the guy that was driving behind me said he couldn't believe what he just saw when he pulled up beside me at the next light. my guess is that this person saw the headlights of the suv behind me and figured they could run across the street in time. they obviously didn't see me at all.
regardless, this is something that didn't need to be as close a call as it was. instead of planning manoevers around the bus i should have been anticipating a pedestrian trying to sprint across the street after having gotten off the bus. so even though i was doing some of the "right things" at the time - scanning the road ahead - i missed some obvious clues as to what was happening closer to me.
when shit goes wrong you can pretty much always go back and find the signs that indicated what was about to happen. we just have to be aware enough to pick them up and educated enough to make the right decisions with that information. i wasn't going to post this but in light of some of the recent threads around here lately i figured it would be a good reminder of what we should be doing when we're out there.