premonit, intuiti, instincts. Have you ever been out riding around, a typical sunny day, nothing out of the ordinary, when all of a sudden a thought enters your mind that something is about to happen; not some unknown something, but a something that you actually see playing out before it happens? Some people would say this is intuition, attribute it to premonition. Being of a more scientific mindset I tend to think of these visions more in terms of instinct - instinct born of experience, observation, and thinking ahead.
The human mind is a powerful tool; it is at the head of the list of humanity's defining characteristics, above bipedalism and opposable thumbs. The mind gives us the ability to learn, process information, and predict possibilities based upon what we see and know. Case in point: I was riding up San Dimas Canyon, right at the turn pictured above. There was a pedestrian walking along the other side of the road, also heading up canyon. I just knew that, even considering the entire stretch of road behind me as well as before me, there was going to be a car coming down canyon who would see the pedestrian and move over to avoid him. Doing so would, of course, put the vehicle into the opposing lane right were I was. The three of us were going to meet at the same place at the same time. So, before I even began to round the bend I had moved over tight against the cliff face.
Sure enough, just as I thought, as I circled the turn there was a pick-up truck right where I saw it would be. The three of us, pedestrian, driver, cyclist, glided past one another without undue sweat, skipped heartbeats, or curses. By observing the available information - the pedestrian, the blind curve, the narrow road, and reacting accordingly, I was able to avoid a more serious incident. That the three of us passed the same spot at the same time, was purely coincidence. Coincidences happen. By being active and observant participants in our surroundings, we as cyclists, can often predict and avoid potentially hazardous situations. Get out and ride, but ride aware.