Sunday, April 29, 2012

the 3 percent

today's ride wore me out.
I didn't bonk, but I was depleted, slow, and spent for my last thirteen or so miles.
it could've been the climbing (up emigration, up big mountain, then down and up the back side of big mountain, up little mountain, then home), or it could've been the wind (crazy powerful), or it could've been the oatmeal I didn't eat before I left home.
but I think I might just blame it on the guy in the silver truck.

at a 4-way stop just a mile from home this morning, I hovered, waiting my turn as the person in the car to my right made a left hand turn.
then it was my turn to go straight.
but the silver truck behind mr. left-turning car ran the stop sign, turning his face to me (me!) as he passed in front of me, flipping me off, driving straight on down the road.
you did not just do that! were my words, a grin of incredulity on my face.
I was playing by the rules, I'm a nice person, he doesn't even know me!
yet he's pissed off enough to run a stop sign and flip me off just to make a point.

90% of motorists I encounter while cycling are kind, appropriate, even generous in their behaviors around me.
another 7% are turkeys, driving too close to me, pulling out in front of me, not signaling their intentions, roaring past with attitude.
then there are the 3% who hate me.
again, they don't know me, they don't care what I'm doing or how thoughtful and courteous I might be, they plain old hate me because I ride a bike.

I try to not think about these people.
I tell myself stories about them---their father just died, they're going through a divorce, they're in terrible pain and on the way to the hospital, they were raised by wolves---and then I send them lots of love and light.
I wish for them peace and joy, amazing success, love, prosperity, serenity.
for maybe if they were to have all those things they wouldn't need to feel (and act upon) this hate and direct it toward little old me.
and then I tell myself to stop thinking about them.

but today, I think Mr. Mean in his shiny silver truck stuck with me and made my legs tired, made me wimpy, made the wind whip around me more viciously than usual.

but he also made me resolve to be in the 90% in all situations. with cyclists, other motorists, with motorcyclists, with skateboarders.
with dog walkers, with stroller-pushers, with little old ladies who probably shouldn't still have licenses.
with runners and golfers crossing the road, with roller skiers and everyone else out there.
because we all share the same space, and it's a much more pleasant space when we all have just a little patience with each other.


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