Friday I rode my baby to work. Morning rush hour is always a little hectic, so I tend to ride a little more aggressively than normal. Getting across 4 lanes of traffic requires it if you want out of that caged madness.
It comes as no surprise anymore when I get cut off by a cage where the driver isn’t paying attention or they mis-judged the distance between my two wheels and their four wheels. Usually this action on their part creates a judgmental, very aggressive reaction on my part. I am not afraid to admit that I get angry, pull up beside their window (when the opportunity allows) and yell not very nice things or wave my arm aggressively at them. I can’t help it.
I’m a goner if I get hit. They’ll most likely walk away.
I get pissed.
Friday morning, it happened to me crossing the Missouri River into Iowa.
I saw it happening before he actually moved into my lane. I saw the slight shift in his direction and instinct told me to back off a bit. He quickly realized what he had done when he actually looked into his mirror and saw my headlights. He hesitated halfway between lanes before finally committing to continue moving into my lane.
In that instant I talked myself out of pulling up beside him and unleashing.
It happens. People don’t look thoroughly before changing lanes. People get distracted and move before signaling.
We ALL do it.
Instead of my normal reaction, I made the decision to pull up beside him and look into his window to see if he’d acknowledge me.
And I am so glad I did.
Right away I could see him waving in the window and mouthing he was so sorry, his wife watching from the passenger side.
I wasn’t in danger, I saw it happening, I was able to adjust my speed and react. And even if I didn’t have time to back off, I would have had plenty of room to move over on the shoulder and get past him.
I was ok. He was ok.
I took that moment to look directly at him, move my fingers to my eyes and back to his, he nodded and mouthed sorry again. I gave a half smile … I mean I don’t want to be overly friendly and ruin my bad ass vibe, you know. 😉 … waved and moved along.
I could have freaked out on him. But, what good would it have done? He’d have either felt worse or just made a judgement call that I was a crazy chick with an attitude problem.
Sometimes our reactions are necessary and justified, and this definitely doesn’t mean I am going to react as calmly the next time. However, there are situations, like Friday, where a little bit of reflection before acting can prove to be beneficial.
So, Cheers to you, fella for acknowledging you made a mistake. I hope that our little moment helps you remember to always double check before switching lanes.
‘Till next time.