Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Power of Thank You

Yes, I've had a few runs in, in my time.
I've had the odd heated conversation with another road user.
I'm sure we all have.

What doesn't make the headlines of course, are the hundreds of nice interactions that we have with other road users. All the excellent overtakes, the drivers stopping to let us through a gap, the drivers keeping a good distance back etc.

Of course all of the above is how the roads should work.We shouldn't have to say thanks when a road user behaves around us. It should be the norm. However, it doesn't do any harm to spread some karma. To polish the cycling community halo (oh yes we have a nice shiny one!) for that extra bit of sparkle.

Make friends with other road users.

I do this, and have been doing it from the day I started cycling. I go out of my way to say thanks when I feel someone has been driving/cycling/walking/singing well whilst I am out on the bike. I do this because it's nice to do it, and because that person might be even nicer to the next cyclist they meet.

At the end of last week I had to work late and so was coming home in the dark. Wanting to get home quickly I take the not so nice, fast, narrow, country A road that I normally avoid. I avoid it because it is notorious for impatient drivers and dangerous overtakes.

On one particular stretch, on this occasion, I notice a driver has hung back and left me plenty of room. So approaching a roundabout I put my hand up to say thanks. It turns out the driver is going the same way as me, so they proceed to overtake.

I have never seen an overtake like it. See it for yourself here.

Did they overtake like this because they were busy fiddling with their SatNav? Did they forget they weren't on a dual carriage-way?

I'd like to think it was their way of acknowledging my thank you.

So maybe we should all aim to thank at least one other road user on every commute.

Spread the Joy of cycling! :-)

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