Thursday, 25 June 2009

hearts and minds

a bicycle


a car

So I'm riding across the Downs on my way to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, to drop off some copies of The Bristol Downs- A Natural History Year (available in all good bookshops; if you go into a bookshop and you don't see this book, then you will know that it is a BAD bookshop, and you had better leave immediately) at the visitor centre.

And as I arrive at this junction, pretty much as you see it here...


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...the light turns from red to green so I continue straight ahead (for that is the route I am heading). The driver of a car behind me (rather close behind me, judging by the sound of the engine) hoots her horn. I look back and see that she is indicating her intention to turn left, and is expressing her annoyance that she can't simultaneously overtake me and turn left without damaging her car as she runs me over.

So I give her the finger.

As she turns, she calls out of her window in an aggrieved tone, "...and the same to you!"

A passing cyclist says, "It's OK, you were in the right"

I nod agreement.

But the woman in the car has evidently learned nothing from this encounter.

And what I have learned is that perhaps I should have stopped and explained to her that the purpose of her horn is to alert other road users to her presence, not to say "Get out of my way, cyclist!"

Hearts and minds, hearts and minds.