Just kidding, this isn’t a honk report. I was just reading something over at Lovely Bicycle regarding taking the rude actions of motorists personally, and I was reminded of my habit of describing the incidents of motorists being rude to me. However, there haven’t been many lately. In fact, I haven’t been honked at in a very long time – over 500 miles of honk-free cycling.
This is making me suspicious. Am I doing anything differently? Is the cooler weather causing people to have cooler tempers? Are there more cyclists on the road now and so people are used to seeing them so they don’t feel the need to honk? I’m really at a loss. Maybe I just have a better attitude now and I’m radiating kindness. Or is that just my neon yellow windbreaker?
Velouria of Lovely Bicycle puts it into perspective by pointing out the motorists are much more rude to each other than they are to cyclists (generally speaking). That reminds me of something else I’ve noticed in the last year and 2 months of car-free traveling:
A lot of people drive like assholes.
Now, if you live in Rhode Island, I’m sure this isn’t a newsflash (as an aside, I’ll point out that most cities think that they have the worst drivers, it’s the inverse of the “Lake Wobegone” effect where all of the children are above average). Even so, as a cyclist, I think it is easier to notice some of the boneheaded moves that motorists make. Is it just because I’m not in a protective bubble of steel and glass, and thus I notice my surroundings more? Is it because I read Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt and thus I now am more finely attuned to the stupid stuff people do? Or is it simply the fact that when I’m on my bike, I get passed by more cars, thus I see more cars, and thus I see more people driving like assholes? Who knows.
I mention Woodward Road, because I’ve had a couple chances to climb it recently. It’s a fairly sedate road that leads up to Mineral Spring Ave, which is not so sedate. No one honked at me on this road.
I drafted this post last week. After finishing most of it, I had three honking incidents in two days, one of which included a string of invective yelled at me from a passing car (by the passenger). The essence of the invective was that I should get off the road. I think he yelled something about an “exercise path” but I’m not sure what that means.
I saw this outside of the office the other day:
I was looking for a low-cost way of upgrading the handlebars on my commuter!