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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Midwestern culture conflicts

This week I've been going for the extra half mile John Street Route. Based on the sample size of 3, I'm going back North. Getting across Lincoln isn't really so bad tho' I can see a need for improvement. The bus behind me on Gregory was nice & didn't pass me before it turned... crossing at Neil and Hessel was a breeze... but then going left on John I got to play chicken with a driver who didn't see me, saw me & slowed, reconsidered and started forward, then stopped after all... since his window was open I found myself saying, "Pardon me?" in a non-supplicatory, yet non-sarcastic voice. He donned a silver star and badge, so I imagine there was a security guard somewhere soon to be relieved. Hopefully he can figure out that there are these people on bicycles using the roads, too, and we're not some kind of hallucination to be ignored.
Then there was the Prospect headache. No, not the "problem" of waiting for the traffic to clear, but the problem of those "nice" drivers in the right lane making a break in the traffic line to "let you across" without realizing that there is a *left* lane where these things called other cars go streaking by. I *think* this driver now understands (after all kinds of stalls and starts and different cars in the left lane doing their things) the issue but I'm not sure. Clark & Prospect has a less-well-defined "clear" period but I prefer that... tho' there should be a better way...
At any rate, Green Street proper is consistently more pleasant and less conflicted; the complicated Clark/Main/Logan/White combination even more so.

Ah yes, the suicide wave. When folks try to yield right-of-way that belongs to them, I thank them and respectfully decline.
I'll have to cultivate the "I'm already respectfully declining, thank you" - the "I don't *see* you, I'm ignoring you" didn't work. On the Xtracycle, I could even have a sign ("I'll get my turn, don't worry!" hmmm.... now there's an open-ended statement!)
my wife's folks live on john @ prospect, look for the flower garden on 'roids:) very nice peoples!

I've read your blog now and then since I started commuting by bike. now correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you're getting cynical and angry toward stoopid/ignorant drivers. C'mon, they can't be worse than the drivers in New Jersey where I roll!
Glad to hear from another local commuter!!!
I've been so daggone *spoiled* with the intelligence and courtesy usually shown - so stoopidity surprises me and makes me mad. Regularly stoopid people... I've learned patience or steeled myself. Not cynical (or any more than before) - that "hopefully" statement wasn't sarcastic. I do figure that I was like the gorilla in the "selective attention" experiment that did not get perceived because it just didn't fit into anything that was supposed to be looked for. I'm thinking that I managed to break through the attention barrier, and hopefully change the attention pattern.
I laugh, too, when I think abotu what I'm calling "conflicts" compared to anything in my East Coast life!
(or, perhaps it's just your folks are local... and you're rolling in Jersey...) (Oh, and this *was* a pretty bad week all around ... yes, people wielding baseball bats and whacking people are, IMHO as bad as Jersey drivers... assault is assault. Tho' that happened after this post...)

12:05 PM
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