Nonetheless, I was thrilled to be riding on country roads again. Even with the march of suburbia out Corydon Ridge Road over the past 6 or 8 years, it still feels a whole lot different than riding around town. All of those new housing developments mean more automotive traffic, though. Most of the drivers waited patiently behind me when blind curves or hill crests made it impossible for them to judge the safety of passing. A few drivers suffered from what I call impatience-induced psychosis. They risked head-on collisions to pass when they could not possibly see whether the left lane had oncoming traffic. Who in their right mind would risk their life and the lives of at least two other people in order to save no more than 30 seconds?
This morning, a friend shared a very different experience. He is an elite road racer who rides many thousands of miles each year. He was riding downtown alternately falling behind and catching up with a police car. When they both stopped at a traffic signal, the young officer rolled down his window and said, "It's nice to see a bicyclist obeying the laws." My friend was pleased that the officer would make a point to notice and thank him for his patience - stopping at stop lights. When we drive, let's thank bicyclists who do the right thing. When we ride, let's thank motorists who treat us with respect. It may not take anything more than common courtesy for us to stem the much-ballyhooed (but still unproven) rise of road rage between bicyclists and motorists.