Mashing Moratorium

Yesterday I attempted to get to Tuesday yoga, but was thwarted by my chain, which refuses to stay on the cassette (even for a single rotation) if I go into that biggest ring in the back.  Took me long enough to figure it out for public safety to arrive with a flashlight… and to make my back really hurt from bending over it. (Maybe my back hurts *because* I’ve been attempting yoga… )  So now I’m relegated to the Middle of the Chain ’til I get it fixed.  (I think I’ve whacked the mechanism with cargo too hard.)

Two *more* driver interactions yesterday — lady coming out of Parkland behind me didn’t have her lights on… didn’t see my assorted gesticulations in front of her (I pointed at my backpack blinkies ( http://www.environmentallights.com/shop/images/products_lg/m5batteryop_ww_grnwire.jpg but I didn’t pay anything like that for ’em!) but she came around and when I hollered “TURN YOUR LIGHTS ON!” she did… but I was already hollering more loudly “HANG UP YOUR PHONE AND TURN YOUR LIGHTS ON!”  and happily only thinking the invectives.

Rather different at Pennsylvania and Race, where I almost stopped at the four-way and then started forward, just as the perpendicular van started forward at me.  We played chicken a bit and I kept going, and what came out of my mouth was  “It’s a four way stop and I was here first.”  A little bit later I hear “I’m sorry.”  I say “thank you.”

I rewound and replayed the dialogue.  The apology was too slow and carefully stated to be  “Oops! My bad!”   — and I had spoken as a child would have, a child uncertain, a little fearful, but accustomed to adults understanding what was right and wrong.  His apology was said carefully, as if I might not understand him… as if my caretakers might have put those blinkies on my bookbag and I just might have insisted on dangling a plastic jack-o-lantern from my panniers.

I was mindful of the day I’d arrived early for a group ride and commenced to practicing making U-turns.  (I have an abominable sense of my place in space.  Yes, this makes yoga interesting, too.) I was focused on it until whoa!  There was a pickup who needed to get by.  I said, “I’m sorry,” and he replied “That’s okay, I was watching you.”

I thought then, and I think now, that I’m quite happy if someone thinks I need extra time and careful explanations when we’re having a roadside interaction.   Slowing down and being more careful is something we could use more of on the roads.  (When it’s done at a math training session, I *will* get my computer out and surf, though, and you’ll hear my quick wit and acerbity.)

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