After hearing the rain pouring down last night, I was delighted to wake up and find a crisp, sunny Saturday morning waiting for me. I was scheduled to speak at a bike commuting workshop at Sun People Dry Goods and would have ridden my bike no matter what, but I’d much rather arrive dry than damp.
So I dressed in my typical workday commuting outfit: Black knee-length skirt, black tights, black dress shoes, Smart Wool top, cardigan. Part of my point when I promote bike riding is that it’s entirely possible to ride in regular clothing as just another regular person, not a Spandex Superwoman, so I dressed the part.
After a fun workshop with Spokesman-Review Slice columnist Paul Turner, Cycling Spokane blogger John Speare, and Mother of Bike Education Eileen Hyatt, I headed homeward.
At a busy stoplight at Browne and Second, where I waited in the southbound lane second from the curb (the through lane for the left-hand turn I needed in the next block), a woman pulled up next to me in an SUV, rolled down her window, and said, “You look so cute! Keep it up.” We chatted briefly. She said she thought we really need more women riding bikes. The light turned green and away we went.
I took the eastbound left turn on 4th and waited at the stoplight at Division. A really huge SUV hung back about a half-block behind me. The lights rotated through a complete cycle and skipped us. I realized my bike wouldn’t trip the light sensor and the vehicle was too far back, so I waved the driver forward.
The vehicle eased up beside me and the passenger-side window rolled down. The woman driving said, “I was just trying to make sure I gave you plenty of room.”
“Thanks!” I said. “I just need you to trip the light because it’s not changing.”
“Okay; just wanted to make sure I didn’t crowd you.”
“Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!” The light changed and away we rolled.
No earthshaking revelations here—just two really pleasant encounters with friendly, supportive drivers on a sunny Saturday. Well worth noting.
Possibly Related Reading
- A Tale of Two Drivers (Feb. 2, 2011)
- How Bikes Can Save the World (Nov. 21, 2010)
- Women's Clothing for Biking that Doesn't Look Like It's for Biking: What to Wear, What to Wear (Sept. 13, 2010)
- I'm Part Dutch, You Know: What Do YOU Wear to Bike?(May 24, 2010)
- Becoming a Bike Commuter: It's Pretty Easy, One Mile at a Time (Feb. 22, 2009)