Essentials for bike commuting II: Not what you’re expecting
Friendliness. Smiling at drivers and making eye contact makes a big difference when you’re between them and their destination (see above).
Whenever you make eye contact you’re making the point that we’re all in this together. You’re another human being, not a speed bump to be run over.
This is also one of the great joys of bike commuting. I smile at people as I pass them and they smile back. I’ve given directions to I don’t know how many bewildered drivers trying to sort out Spokane’s downtown one-way streets. After all, I’m accessible because I’m on a bike. They can’t stop another driver to get help.
I try to think of myself as an ambassador for bike commuters. My job is to make friends, not enemies.
Openness to new things. This is a biggie. What will it take for you to change your mindset?
We all have our excuses about why we can’t change. I get to hear a lot of those from people overcome by pangs of guilt when I come into a meeting with my helmet and panniers.
You’re just used to driving. You have a habit. Habits can be changed.
Once upon a time our mothers all cooked with Crisco, right? Now you know about trans-fats and other scary things and you use canola or olive oil. You may not even be frying things any more. And it turned out that grilled food tastes pretty good, doesn’t it? You can actually taste the food, not the thick greasy coating.
New things. Try ‘em, you’ll like ‘em.