Decided to take advantage of the rainless morning; rode to the pool for a swim, ran a few errands, stopped for a few groceries on the way home. And in the afternoon it rained. Hah!
I suppose this will sound sexist, but I really believe that a lot of drivers are more courteous to me – as a woman on a bike – than they typically are to most males. The route to the pool is one of my least-fun rides, traffic-wise – an interstate crossing, entrances to two major shopping centers, a four-lane commercial-zone slog. Lots of trucks. But I have to say I am grateful to all of the people who give me 3 feet (or often more) in passing, or slow down and wait until they can safely do so. Not everyone is always alert and courteous, but mostly I have remarkably few problems.
When I rode up to the bike rack at the Y, someone stopped me to tell me they had seen me riding before, and had passed me on my way over today. He said he had noticed me as I was stopped at one of the intersections, and went on to say something like, “Well, so many of the people on bicycles around here pay no attention to the lights; you seem to know what you’re doing out there, and that’s good”. I didn’t (and won’t) comment on how accurate or inaccurate he might be about other cyclists, but I thought it was a significant thing to hear from a driver – as if he was saying, “If you behave like traffic, I will treat you like traffic.” Maybe the “female factor” played into it as well – or not? Chivalry is not dead? Either way, I think it is an important statement of our responsibility to ride lawfully and courteously as well.
(And if that doesn’t work, try wearing a skirt….! ;-))