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.


  1. maybe you need a horn on your bike Dru ?...somehow a tinkling bell might not cut the mustard... :-)

  2. Rob has got a horn that really honks. I seem to remember in france it is against the code to sound your horn at a cyclist. The shock might make them fall off. The ones that are in the wrong are usually the nastiest.

  3. hmm, Nicky... I've got a nice Chinese bell that rings constantly if I pump it so that I sound like an old-fashioned fire engine, and I once had this

    fitted, which is extremely good for getting jaywalkers to jump five feet in the air...

    but I think that on an occasion like this it would have been best to explainto her exactly why she was being wrong and silly. And then she would have said "I understand now, that I have been wrong and silly. I shall go and sin no more"

    And then the heavenly choirs will sing and peace will break out everywhere and....

  4. Heart or mind? Did she have either?

  5. Who knows? But I've got to coexist with this sort of creature. Like EBTG said, "Because you see we share this town so why should we fight on our native land"... and Bob Dylan probably said something too.