Sunday, June 27, 2010


Here's what I brought home this morning from the Farmers' Market: strawberries, green beans, leeks & broccoli (pesticide-free); avocados (organic); and olive oil from the ascolano variety.

As a Buddhist, one of the qualities I should cultivate in my life is that of generosity. This means all kinds of generosity: giving of money, time, emotional support, or even being nice to the other drivers and letting them in during awkward, traffic-ridden spots on my commute. However, sometimes that last one can be less than beneficial.

Yesterday morning, I was enjoying a lovely bike ride down along one of the canals leading to the ocean. I have to ride along some major streets close to CSULB in order to reach the entrance that takes me off the beaten path. There are a few traffic lights, and one difficult T intersection. However, since it was early on a Saturday morning, there were few cars about.

I reached the T just as a car was coming up on the right. It stopped well ahead of me, so I stopped and waited for it to turn left across in front of me, poised and ready to ride on after it. Instead of going, the driver decided to wave me forward, thinking he was being kind. Well-intentioned as it was, because I had to wait so long for his move, I lost balance on my bike and had to totally stop, set a foot on the ground, reseat my other foot on the pedal, and then restart.

On the way home, I reached the T as a car was stopped across from me. I was just turning right, so I wasn't necessarily going to cross any traffic, but still, the nature of traffic signs and right of way dictates that I should fully stop, and anyone else who was stopped before me should go first. Besides, I couldn't tell if the car across from me was going to go straight through the intersection or turn left, and possibly swing across into the bike lane that I was turning right into. However, this car was hesitating--I could tell that he was waiting for me to go, even though I didn't want to move until I knew what he was doing. So some negative words came out of my mouth, to express my frustration. I eventually just turned right and started up the street, and the car eventually turned left after me.

Certainly, there was no harm done in either of these situations, but it seriously frustrated me. If one comes to a situation dictated by right-of-way rules, I think it is much easier for all parties concerned (drivers and cyclists) if those rules are followed. Cyclists adjust their pedaling when coming to a stop sign so as to lose as little momentum as possible. I would personally much rather have a car take the initiative and move when the opportunity is rightfully theirs--what I am expecting them to do--than force me to wait for them to think that it would be nice to let me go ahead.

So, gentle reader, are you a cyclist? If so, what are your thoughts on this?

1 comment:

  1. Walking, driving, cycling --> I agree, I prefer if the right-of-way rules were actually followed. I've found sometimes when walking, I'll encourage cars to finally just *GO* by pretending to text or look up something on my phone, ignoring them long enough to make them drive. This method doesn't work while biking, of course.