Normally on my rides, I am fairly alert for bad drivers. A regular occurence for me is the near miss, hence I keep my eyes peeled for silly behaviour from motorists. Everybody on a bike has experienced what I am talking about.......the cars that accelerate to overtake you into a roundabout. The guy that hammers past you, only to slam on the brakes and make a left turn in front of you. The drivers who don't follow the "A Metre Matters" message, and decide that 10cm is sufficient when passing.
But what about the good drivers?? Today, over an 80km ride through the hills, I didn't see any bad behaviour. All I witnessed was nothing but patient driving, with respect for me as a cyclist. Going up a rather windy, tight road, quite a few cars were more than happy to sit behind me at a slow pace, until a straight section of road with no on-coming traffic appeared, so they could overtake with more than adequate space. At a T junction, where I was still climbing at a speed of about 15kph, a car waited for me to pass.....I was the only other vehicle on the road. He was more than happy to wait for 15 seconds or so for me to spin past! Roundabouts?? I had 2 separate occasions where cars sat behind me for 100m or so before the roundabout. And even more impressive, a P-plater actually stopped in a slip lane for me to safetly ride past, again where I was the only other vehicle on the road!
As a cyclist, this was a refreshing change from the normal dangerous activities I encounter. I really appreciated the positive attitude shown by all of these people......and as a sign of respect, I gave each driver a nod, a smile, and a little wave. The result......a polite little beep of the horn, and a wave in return!
We all experience bad behaviour from motorists. But when you see a driver do something to improve the safety of a cyclist, its nice to acknowledge it. I can guarantee, they will appreciate the gratitude.....and hopefully this will lead to greater harmony between road users :)
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