Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Motorist interaction

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

On my way to work one day this week, I was heading west on Grimes Lane, which is a small two-lane road with low speed limits and light traffic.  I was in my usual lane position, about where the right tire of a car would go. A guy in a pickup truck passed me, laying on the horn. He rolled his window and shouted, “You’re not a car!” To which, of course, the only response I could muster was, “Yes I am!” Perplexed, he finished passing me and made an interesting hand gesture.

Riding vehicularly is a strange thing. Every day, I’m more convinced that it’s safer for me. But I do seem to irritate motorists a bit more at times. They probably think I’m being a jerk by not riding at the edge of the road, and not “getting out of their way.” The truth is, if there isn’t room to pass, I try to make this painfully obvious and force them to change lanes to pass me, rather than attempting to squeeze past. The one time I was hit by a car, that’s how it happened, and I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening again.

My new personal slogan: “I’m a car!”

6 Responses to “Motorist interaction”

  1. Randy Rasa Says:

    Sounds like you were doing everything right. People trying to squeeze by in the same lane, or making a pass near the crest of a hill, are some of the more dangerous behaviours. By controlling our lane position and discouraging unwise passes, we make the roads safer for all, whether others realize and appreciate that or not.

  2. Steve A Says:

    And such is the paradox of a cyclist. Your observation is completely correct. Email me about this if you get a chance. As for the slogan – you might consider – “but it’s the safe way” instead. It is demonstrable that you are NOT operating a car. You’d be better off to think of your operation as a seriously underpowered motorcycle, which is what I tell people. They seem to understand that concept and its got a lot of validity.

  3. David Crowell Says:

    Next time just yell “HONK! HONK!”. 🙂

  4. John Romeo Alpha Says:

    I lean toward “I operate safely!”. Once you commit to cycling safely, and look at the position alternatives, yours is the best choice. I yearn to have that dialog with a motorist who believes otherwise. In most settings (not all, though) it is an undeniable conclusion. There’s one time/place on my commute where it seems to me not the best choice.

  5. Chandra Says:

    Be proud as you’re doing the right thing!
    Peace 🙂

  6. Jon Grinder Says:

    My answer to “You’re not a car!” is always. “Neither are you. You’re just some jerk driving a car.”

Ear to the Breeze is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).