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illustration ex post facto

So a couple of nights ago I was at the Lezbopalooza work party. I've been pitching in some consulting work for Lezbopalooza and since I wasn't going to be able to make it, I figured I'd help get stuff ready. Mostly, I cut out disks of paper for buttons.
Well, the conversation ranged across a lot of topics and eventually came to biking and traffic laws.
I chided someone about riding through a stop sign and shortly thereafter mentioned that I tend to stop at stop signs in deserted areas in the middle of the night. For which I was told by another member of the conversation that I was well conditioned (or trained or something) to follow society's rules or some similar snideness. As I didn't really feel like lecturing or arguing, I shrugged an "as you will" and let it pass.
I meant to blog about it last night, but I forgot.
Last night, I was riding home in the rain and the dark, and I was coming to a stop sign at the bottom of a hill. I was playing with by breaks, experimenting with their ability to stop me while wet (poor) and while going down a hill (we were accelerating) and a goodly bit up the hill I decided that I was going to do the far back rolling stop and lunge thing. Except I was rather interested in the acceleration while breaking thing and I decided to keep playing with it for a bit. While I was doing that, a car came around a turn that, in the dark, I had no idea existed and rushed through the stop sign (perpendicular to my route of travel) without even slowing down. Now I am not sure that the car and I would have had a close encounter of the ouchy kind if I'd not kept playing with my breaks, but the timing would have been damned close.

Part of why we have rules like "stop at stop signs even when there isn't anyone coming the other ways" is that we have an imperfect knowledge of reality and this category of rule allows us some extra time to help develop a little more knowledge in a manner that occasionally keeps us from harm. That's why I tend to follow rules like that when they do me no harm and present me with little inconvenience.

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