Peace and Quiet

My last blog was about drivers behaving badly. Passing too close, too fast, leaning on their horns, giving cyclists a ‘smoke out’ or a one fingered salute. Shouting at us to get off of ‘their’ roads. Stoker even noticed; she said that people are getting ‘more vicious ‘.

No Car Conflicts: All Smiles at the Finish

Incidents have been happening to me (and us) on so many rides this year that I am beginning to dread heading for the hills in Amador or Calaveras counties. Every car that approaches has me on edge. Literally; I pedal as close to the right side of the pavement as is safe and pray the motorist gives me a little room and a little forbearance. I call out ‘car back’ as soon as I spy oncoming cars in my mirror, and hope my friends ahead will move to ride single file to facilitate passing. Even though I’m nervous I’m still heading up to the hills: those anti-cyclist drivers can’t get rid of me quite that easily. I keep my hands on the bars and don’t yell back, but I’m trying to get licenses and report violations of the 3 foot law or dangerous driving or threatening behavior.

So having said all that, our last two tandem rides in the hills were completely incident free. Drivers passed safely, and the only horn I heard was a polite tap to make sure I knew the car was behind. Of course with my mirror I had seen the car well before the gentle reminder. A couple of drivers waved at the tandem, with five fingers raised instead of one. There was a propane truck that passed us so carefully that when we saw the driver stopped at a delivery up the road I shouted “Thanks for passing us so safely!”. He smiled and waved.

I would like to think that my recent blog had something to do with this. After all, it was printed, in print, on the editorial page of The Record. But I’m pretty sure it was just luck, and that incidents will continue. But Thursday and Sunday the  ‘share the road’ spirit prevailed.

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  • Blog Author

    Rich Freggiaro

    Richard Freggiaro is a Stockton area native who grew up on his family’s farm. After an nine year detour to Davis for College, Washington DC for work, and Iowa for graduate school, he returned to San Joaquin County and spent the next quarter century farming with his father. He has been married to Diane for 31 years. He is (mostly) retired which leaves him plenty of time to ride each of his 4 bikes, and he is an enthusiastic and passionate cyclist. Read Full
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