Monday, May 7, 2012

This morning's odd incivility

I had an interesting bit of mild incivility this morning.  I was riding my big Dutch bike to work when a red pickup truck buzzed me.  I didn't yell, I didn't raise my arm in either wtf or one-finger salute gestures, and I didn't try to catch up to him for further discussion.  I just shook my head in frustration.

A little further up the road, I saw a State Trooper had his lights flashing and had pulled over a different pickup truck heading the opposite direction. Strangely, they were stopped in the left lane against the raised median rather on the shoulder on the right side of the road. As I got closer, the red pickup pulled behind the State Trooper. I hadn't yet made the connection, because it had been a few minutes since I was buzzed, there was no incident, and I was over it. No harm, no foul, I'm not gonna let it ruin my day.  I actually thought the driver in the red pickup knew the driver in the white pickup and stopped to help.

The driver of the red pickup got out, walked up to the Trooper and started talking to him.  Then I noticed the driver was looking over at me, and gesturing and pointing at me as he spoke with the Trooper.  It was then that I realized he was the guy who buzzed me.

I pulled over to the shoulder on my side of the road, waited for a few cars to pass and walked my bike over.  I was on the right side of this conversation and with a State Trooper there, I was willing to take my chances.  As I approached, the driver was walking back to his truck and he said to me, "you can talk to him."  So I went up to the Trooper, who was still writing a ticket for the guy in the white pickup, and asked him if there was any problem.  He said, "No, not at all, you're good," and sent me on my way.

I do honestly wish I'd had a chance to engage with the motorist. I know it makes no difference 99% of the time.  But it would've been a pleasure to make my point about state law and, hopefully, have that point reinforced by the State Trooper.  Maybe then the message might've sunk in a little more.

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