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Old 06-03-06, 06:29 AM   #1
Blackberry
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A Small, Sweet Moment in Time

As I was hammering (for me) down a steep, narrow, twisty descent yesterday, I passed a woman in a mini-van at an intersecting road. We made eye contact and smiled and I kept on keeping on. As I conitinued down the road, I waited for the inevitable whine of an engine, which, as we all know, signals a driver just itching to pass. But it never came.

When I was able to look back over my shoulder, I saw that the driver was several hundred yards behind. It was clear she had decided not to be in a hurry, not to compete with a cyclist for a small piece of potentially dangerous road.

As I approached the bottom of the hill, I knew we'd both be confronting a similar narrow, steep, twisty climb. I swung into the parking lot of an abandoned general store.I figured now it was my turn to wait a bit and not compete--at 6 mph--with a driver for a small piece of potentially dangerous road on the uphill side.

As she went by, we both waved. It was no big deal, It was just a small interaction of good will by two strangers, but it felt good.
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Old 06-03-06, 09:11 AM   #2
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Good story, I too have done this once or twice. As very well said, a small interaction of good will.
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Old 06-03-06, 11:16 AM   #3
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Yes, I know the feeling. You picked up each others vibe, no words necessary.

I'm betting she went home with the same good feeling.
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Old 06-03-06, 11:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Blackberry
It was no big deal, It was just a small interaction of good will by two strangers, but it felt good.
I had a similar incident this morning. I was out riding on one of the Farm-Market roads (2 lanes, no shoulders, rolling hills) when I top a hill and start down and I realize there is a horse and buggy (actually a surrey) coming toward me, and a car approaching behind the surrey.

Cattle never spook when I pass them. Seems to me though that horses are regularly spooked by a bicycle.

So I stop and pull over to the side of the road. This allowed the car to slowly pass the horse, and I wait till the horse passed me before starting again. Everyone waved and smiled. Just a good moment on the morning ride.

Too bad I forgot my digicam this morning.

"........and then the wheels came off"
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Old 06-03-06, 03:06 PM   #5
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On our trips to and from the hills we occasionally have to negotiate narrow roads. In general we find that drivers are prepared to wait for a suitable passing space, but the problem is that cars over here are now very quiet- you just cannot hear them. On top of that they never sound their horn either- so it is generally good luck if we know they are there. As soon as we know they are there we either give them a signal to pass- or not to overtake- with a suitable hand gesture- and wherever possible we will pull onto the side of the road and let them pass.
Our problem is with horses. It is not often that we come across them going the same way as us, but it does occur. We normally give warning that we are approaching from well back, just so the horse is not spooked, but those riders think they own the road. Never give us an indication that it is safe for us to pass, and if there are two of them they are side by side. I have in the past spooked a horse from 100 yards back so try to think of the horse and rider with that plenty of warning. It has got to the stage where we just yell out "Through the middle" to make the riders realise what a pain they are, but Horses are bigger than me- and can do a lot of damage to me.

Now to the good bit- If you want considerate car drivers-- Go to France. On a randonnee once with about 200 English-Few of whom used to riding on the wrong side of the road. We had an incident up a hill where a car waited for all of us to get to the top. Narrow road with a few twists in it. I stopped and apoligised for the delay the riders has caused him and it was nothing- He was only out for a drive and it was fantastic to see all these riders - most of whom were family groups- out enjoying the countryside as much as he was. Whats 10 minutes on a journey when he was not in a rush. Mind you- I have also driven round the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in a truck and there is no way that I will take my life in a Frenchmans hands in rush hour on a bike- Big truck, just about but bike- no-way.
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Old 06-03-06, 03:56 PM   #6
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-Few of whom used to riding on the wrong side of the road.
That would be the right side of the road - wouldn't it?
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Old 06-04-06, 12:43 AM   #7
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That would be the right side of the road - wouldn't it?
Yep. We are still antiquated in the UK. along with a couple of other countries in the world. Talking about antiquated-Taking the old bike out this morning- Both the Tandem and the Bianchi need work on them before they can be ridden- One of the joys of having a spare bike.
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