Cooler Heads Prevail

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Yesterday, I was happily biking, enjoying a gorgeous sunny day. I was on a surface street with light traffic, rolling in the curbside bike lane. I heard a vehicle approach me from behind, and then a car horn blared.

Le sigh. Another driver with a grudge against bicyclists? I’m not blocking the lane, or preventing anyone from passing, and still someone wants to give me grief? In the past, I’ve struggled with finding the right response in such circumstances. Sometimes I ignore it completely, but sometimes I let my temper show, which I inevitably regret.

This time, I sat up a little straighter and shrugged with my left arm, trying to convey “Really? You’ve got a problem with this?”

The vehicle pulled up even with me, a white minivan with the windows rolled down. The woman driving shouted, “I’m sorry! My hand slipped; total accident.”

And instantly, just like that, I was so glad I hadn’t responded to her horn with anger! I could have barked at her or flipped her off, making her indignant, raising my blood pressure, and likely giving one more driver one more reason to be grumpy about bicyclists.

I called out, “Thank you! I appreciate that!” and the minivan pulled away.

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