The Chainlink

Too often we  find motorists who infuriate us if not endanger us. Every once  in a while  we find a kindred spirit or a friendly face. Rather  than  the typical  rant thread how about one where we encounter  allies in four wheeled vehicles?  I had this happen  today.

Standing  over  my bike at a red light on  Washington at  Clark in the bike lane I am  at the last  light of  my commute. It has been  a delightful ride with breakfast shared  with two  fellow riders.One of them is with me.  A van  drives  up next  to us and  will make a right turn.  I see it's signal.  The  passenger  rolls down  the  window and  tells my friend and I how she applauds us riding on  a still  somewhat  wintery early spring  morning. She urges us to  have a good rest  of the ride  and a good  day. She tells us how  healthy we are and my friend chimes in about the psychological benefits we are reaping  as well.  Flush with the spirit of the  upcoming holiday she wishes  us a  happy Easter. We have no need  to let her know we celebrate  Passover rather than Easter and  both hope she has a great one. She indeed resurrected my faith in  the humanity of  motorists.

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A great way to start the workday. :) Thanks for sharing.

Years ago, when I lived in Detroit, I was riding downtown on E. Jefferson. It was in the middle of a repaving project, and about half of the westbound side was marked off with orange barriers. At one point a car went past me, then moved in front of me, slowed down and made a right turn. It wasn't really dangerous, but it was definitely bad judgment. As I rode on, the driver pulled up and waited for me, and rolled down his window to apologize. It made my day!

I had a lovely chat with - gasp! - a taxi driver at a red light last week. He rollled down his window and complimented me on biking on a not-so-warm day. I told him I stay warm when I'm moving, he noted that it was sunny out at least, and we shared hope that spring will arrive soon. It was so nice and refreshing. Such little things can really make my day. 

I came on Chainlink today to post about a recent crash and a scary near hit from the past two weeks, but I can't find the Close Calls thread, and now that I've read this thread, I feel that I should focus on the positive experiences, instead. I agree that there a lot of good, considerate drivers out there. Plus, I get a lot of really nice interaction from my bike, with drivers, other bike riders, pedestrians, you name it. People ask directions, say nice things about my clothing, ask me about my bike or accessories, give well-meaning advice about how I should pump up my tires or wear a helmet. One time a man pulled up to me at a red light and said he loved how many people bike in Chicago, and also that I reminded him of his mother (again, so nicely intended, LOL, I guess she also liked riding bikes).

Believe it or not, I've occasionally had pleasant exchanges with CTA bus drivers while going down the street. Yes, it does happen once in a while.

In my experience there are way more courteous drivers than jerks, but if 50 drivers show respect and one almost puts you into a curb, well, we all know which one gets remembered.

I hung a camera under my saddle, pointing to the rear, and was honestly surprised by the numbers of drivers who leave plenty of room between him\her and myself and wait till it's safe to pass without crowding me.

Most of my riding is the southwest corner of the city and beyond.

No stories to tell...yet, but reading these is making my morning that much brighter. 


I always try to give a wave or at least a nod to a motorist who waits or gives me extra space.


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