Friday, July 20, 2007

Smile, And The World Smiles With You (with one exception).

Sunday I'm riding with a guy who is participating in a triathalon soon. We worked together years ago and he knows I ride a lot. He cannnot swim, is a new runner and does not know how or when to shift gears on his bike. None of this matters in the overall scheme of life, but entering an event like this should require a little more thought. He is allowed to have someone swim for him but he is doing the run and bike. (I told him no when he mentioned me doing the bike part of the race). To be fair, this is a mini triathalon, and "teams" are allowed. The bike is 9 miles and the run is a 10k. The swim is moot because as mentioned above, his 14 year old nephew is doing that part.

One of those "nice" driving experiences happened yesterday. There is a section of the highway where, for obvious safety reasons, the speed limit is reduced to 55. A SUV mom decided that it did not mean for her to slow down. Seventy was her minimum speed, and she spent most of her drive on that two mile stretch, tailgaiting, passing on the right, tailgating the next car, and on and on. I was one of those she had to pass on the right after tailgaiting. As she passed, we made eye contact and I gave her a neutral wave by rolling my fingers like I was typing.

There is another two mile section of highway with traffic signals before entering the town streets. Sure enough, she had caught the light. I slowly rolled up along side of her, and made eye contact and again waved. She bolted at the green light, caught the next red as I slowly rolled up along side and again waved, this time with a smile. At the green, she again sped off, had to stop for a right turning car and watch me pass he on the left at 20mph. She swung around the offending vehicle, and got too close to my back bumper to get around me when I signaled for a left turn. Now all the other cars are passing her on the right on this two lane street. As I was turning, I looked back over my right shoulder, again made eye contact and waved.

I am betting she has little or no idea what had happened and will continue agressive driving even after she has her colision. That's the exception.


  1. Is your triathlon friend at least in good shape? It's ridiculous to decide on a whim to do something like that. It also seems strange to try to get others to do the work for you. Isn't the whole point to do it on your own?

    Your driving experience is hilarious. I love it when something as simple as a wave can convey so much.

  2. Keeping a happy countenance in situations like that SUV driver story is so much fun. I personally love to wave excitedly at people who honk at me... it gets them thinking "Do I know that guy?" And they end up slowing down. :)

  3. It's like the scene out of "Office Space" when Peter is on the highway going slower in traffic than the old man with the walker on the sidewalk. That must have felt a little, if not alot, satisfying on your part. Thanks for the traffic laugh amidst much usual traffic hell.

  4. I haven't driven a good, long stretch of road in quite a while. That's got to be satisfying, though.

    The closest I've come was on my commute home, I could see in my mirror that this person behind me wasn't going to give me any room and so I pulled further out into the lane before they could get too close to me. They kept approaching, their right headlight heading dead-on at my rear wheel. I finally got a little spooked and moved right, going into the debris field close to the gutter. Just as the car passed, I hit this huge rock with my front tire, probably about the size of a golf ball. MY high-pressure 15mm tire made a huge "PING!" sound, and the rock darted out of my way to the left, right into the passenger door of the car that was crowding my lane. The driver didn't seem to notice, but I saw it bounce off, leaving a hail-dent and a taking out a chunk of paint the size of a dime on his door.

    Not quite intentional revenge, but definitely a bit less passive than yours.

  5. Gah. 25mm tires. 700x15s probably would have flatted on the spot.