To the woman on a bike…
Where we live there are no bike paths on the road, there is the shoulder and sometimes not even that. The city and state pretend we are biker friendly with all kinds of signs about sharing the road but some of the streets I drive on hardly allow two cars to pass much less two cars and a bike. I don’t mind sharing the road or most other things really, but it’s hard to share with a bike when there isn’t enough road for all of us. I do know several bikers so I try to share with a glad heart though some days…
Take this morning for instance. I was driving to work, later than I would have liked but it’s summer, my client is out for the week and I have no hard and fast schedule so I was getting there with an eye on the clock but I wasn’t gripping the wheel and pushing the speed limit by any means.
I was preparing to turn left but there was oncoming traffic so I waited, one car, two cars. There was a third car, a pickup truck, and he was going slowly. I couldn’t quite figure out his story but as I wasn’t in a huge rush, I waited though a quick glance in my rear view mirror confirmed that traffic was piling up behind me.
I was feeling a little antsy, you know how you don’t want to be late and now there is traffic…what is keeping this guy? I was waiting for someone behind me to honk their horn. Then I see it.
There is a woman on a bike. She is riding along the very small shoulder, seriously, it’s about 6 inches between the white line and the raised sidewalk. I didn’t roll my eyes but I wanted to. I’m not sure why the guy in the pickup didn’t swerve around her and move along but at this point, he couldn’t have without hitting me so I took a deep breath and reminded myself to share the road.
The woman finally was close enough so I could see. I wish I had snapped a picture. Her bike was pink and magenta. She had a wicker basket on the front rimmed with pink plastic flowers. She wore a magenta shirt that complemented her bike. As she passed I got a good glimpse of her. She was older, older than me for sure, she had easily discerned wrinkles. The wind was flowing through her curly, shoulder length grayish, ash blonde hair. She wore pink lipstick that required some serious chutzpah to carry off and she was smiling; not a peaceful, content grin but full on, teeth showing, wrinkles in their full glory from her eyes to her lips.
She was all things beautiful and blissful. On an otherwise ordinary Monday morning this woman was jubilant for no reason that I could see other than the wind was blowing in her hair and she was riding a completely pink, tricked out bike.
I thought I was sharing the road, but she was sharing so much more. What a lovely morning I’ve had, thank you!