Cyclists turn the other cheek

Yes, drivers are often rude, ignorant and threatening, but then so are we even when we don’t intend to be.

“Learn the rules of the road,” I heard the driver say as he pulled in to a parking space at the Asotin grocery on Sunday.

Bill and I had taken a break in our 3 Summits ride and were just getting on our bikes. No cars filled the spaces in front of the store and no cars stood at the pumps. I was standing astride my bike waiting for Bill. He was still at the curb near the entrance to the store and just mounting. Together we filled up the parking spaces and the travel lane. As we started north a pickup swung into the parking lot. I waffled trying to decide if he was going to the pump or the store. Bill prevented that access and my indecisive behavior meant the driver had no where to go. He was upset about it, too.

Probably Bill and I should have stayed single file but remember we weren’t on the road. That pickup came in hot, in a bit of a rush and we frustrated the driver, but what would he have had to do had a car een there? Stop, negotiate for position.

Cyclists are inclined to be rude in response to driver-behaviors like this one, but really, what does that gain. We were not without responsibility for the confusion. For the most part drivers treat us pretty well. We don’t do our cause any good by using obscene gestures or rude comments.–Corrie

Five Ways Cyclists Can Defuse Road Rage

Share the Road ethics dictate that cyclists must also share the responsibility to do what they can to stop angering and inconveniencing motorists.

By Bill Schneider, 9-02-10

A cyclist moving up to take his pull. Photo by Reed Gregerson.A cyclist moving up to take his pull. Photo by Reed Gregerson.

Two days ago on my morning trip down to the coffee shop to get a little wisdom at the ORG (Old Retired Guys) Table, a driver blasted right through a stop sign and almost made it my last day on a bicycle. So what did I do?

Two things. First, since I ended up about five feet from the driver’s window, I did not yell or make obscene gestures, not even any dagger eyes, Instead, I waved and smiled and tried to give him my best “no worries, we all make mistakes” look. Second, I decided to write this commentary–and the “other side” for next week.

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