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Sweet Circumstance

How often do you get to give a little corrective feedback to an errant motorist?

I had my opportunity as I was heading home from an early morning meeting. I’ve had like zero times to actually comment to a motorist after they’ve been blowing their horn at me; I’m still savoring the moment.

Many meetings over coffee are early, this one would take me along Coast Hwy to Cappy’s Cafe. We’ve all done this route yet it causes me to reflect – how much traffic will there be? At that time of day, not so bad, but it’s a hairy ride. The bridge between Bayside Drive and Dover – that’s always got cars flying as they make the free right turn onto Dover. I keep telling myself, traffic comes in waves, so at worst case I’ll just have to wait for a gap in traffic. This morning this route was fine. Mariner’s Mile is always a tight squeeze and it was for me – I’m pinned between parked cars and several fast moving cars on my left, a bus, too. No room for error, as David Huntsman is oft to say.

But it’s the ride home an hour later when I’m riding the Sharrows along Bayside Drive – you know the spot, right at the S curve. That’s when a car comes up behind me; she’s blowing her horn at me in this 15mph Sharrows zone. I don’t appreciate that behavior; it’s rude, inconsiderate and potentially dangerous, but what can you do? Motorists are always driving in air conditioned comfort with their windows rolled up, righteous in their ownership of the road.

But this morning would be different; I’d get to make my point for safer interactions.

Just as we wind through the S curve a construction worker surprises both of us – he’s blocking traffic with a hand-held stop sign. A truck full of materials was being unloaded just ahead.

So as I come to a stop, I turn to speak to the horn-blowing motorist. She’s old enough to know better and she’s petite, barely able to see over the steering wheel, so I temper my remarks yet tell her unequivocally, “Don’t blow your horn at me!”

“You should move over,” she responds defensively, sheepishly. She’s caught out and a little embarrassed.

“See that bike insignia on the road there,” I point to the Sharrow.

“That means Share the Road,” the sign-holding construction worker finishes my sentence for me.

We share a conspiratorial nod, knowing we’ve done a minor good deed for the day.

No hard feelings for me. As the sign flips to “Slow” I take the lane and continue, silently, along Bayside Drive.

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