Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Friendly is a Choice

Friendly is a choice. I made it. When I started using this bike route regularly, I noticed an occasional large tanker truck sharing the road with me. For some reason I decided that I was not going to get into the road rights thing here on this route with a large tanker truck. So I chose friendly. When the tanker truck came up behind me while I was climbing a hill, I didn’t make him risk a dangerous pass or chug, chug that big engine along behind my slow self. I got off the narrow road and let him go. He always honked thanks. Sometimes, I would come upon him pulling out onto the narrow road with all that truck and it was obvious he could not clear the road before I got there. Times like these, I slowed down or stopped to wait. He honked. Other times he just honked when we passed on the road.

A couple of days ago, I again let him get that big truck out on the road before I tried to get by. As we began to pass each going opposite directions, I waved. He creaked to a stop and I turned around to see what he wanted. He had an arm out the window. Surely, he is not giving me the bird? No, he had a bottle of water in his hand, holding it out to me. The afternoon was hot. I was very hot and the water in my bike bottles was more than lukewarm. This water he had was ice cold! Yes! I gushed my thanks to the driver, telling him I was going to put some this water on my head too. "If you are going to do that, do you want another one?" Seems like this driver had made the same choice that I had: biker and trucker, different goals, different purposes for being on the road, we had decided that as much as we are different, we are all the same. We are all just people trying to do what we do on the same roads. The roads are not mine; not his; they are ours. I told him thanks so much and left with an extra cold water, refreshed, and smiling. Friendly had made my bike ride that much better. I hoped I had made his day better too. Friendly had been a good choice.