Those Nice Lady Drivers

I had such nice encounters with drivers today it’s worth blogging about as a thank-you.

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


  1. Wow. I saw this in my blog feed and after seeing the title, initially thought 'sarcasm'.
    Was so Glad to click the link, read and be pleasantly surprised.
    I really enjoyed reading this.

    Now...if only SUV drivers of London would behave the same way...

    (p.s. a couple of weeks ago I had a run in with a female SUV driver who actually got out of her car and pushed me...well...because her being in a big car makes her king of the road)!

  2. This is a heartening story. But I have a practical question. How do you keep from arriving sweaty and windblown?And can you give some more tips for carrying necessary items for the work day?

  3. Go Aweigh, I'll work on a post on that! Thanks for the question.

    I have it easy, in that my ride to work is only 2-1/2 miles and a chunk of that is downhill so I don't have to work if I don't want to.

    One key is just to leave with plenty of time so you don't have to work very hard.

    I carry a lot less than I used to, as I mentioned in my "Losing Weight" post:


  4. Woollen Typist, she PUSHED you? Wow. And here I thought the British were such a polite nation (except for Parliament).


Comments are like karma. The more you give, the more you receive. (Spam is like karma too.)