Saturday, August 06, 2005

Those very polite drivers...

On the way home one afternoon, I was going up that stretch of 129th that I wrote about in “Where to Begin”. Now, since that incident, I’ve been wary of motorists over there and let’s just say I’ve been more alert than usual.

So when a car stayed behind me all the way up the street, I was very aware of it. The motorist wouldn’t pass even though there’s a short passing zone just south of the school. In fact, many drivers pass me through the dedicated left turn lane in front of the school, a lane that’s meant for oncoming traffic. But this driver just sat back there a couple of car lengths, not even tailgating me. It was weird.

Some motorists are hesitant to pass a cyclist in a narrow lane. Perhaps they’re overly cautious, but I’m not complaining. Sometimes someone further back in the queue will get impatient and pass several cars and me. And there’s always a horn honker back there somewhere. But not this time.

I reached the school, and the motorist still wouldn’t pass. I rode further up the street, and expected that someone would pass on my right through the right-turn lane. It didn’t happen. Finally, I reached the four-lane section and the woman behind me passed, only to be stopped at the red light.

That’s when I discovered the source of all that politeness. There was a Tulsa County sheriff driving behind her!

The rest of the queue reached the intersection and fanned out across the lanes. No one honked. No one yelled. No one revved an engine. It was very pleasant. This tells me that drivers know how they’re supposed to behave on the road, but like little children without adult supervision, they’re likely to forget all that when the adults are absent.


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