isupportredfridays_edited-1 Join me by wearing red on red shirt Friday! Pray for my brother-in-law's safe return as well as the rest of our troops!

Monday, June 06, 2011

BE NICE. A Message to Motorists and a Reminder to People in General.

Dear man in truck,

I appreciate that you stopped for the cyclist in front of me. That was nice. You did not, however, stop for me, riding right behind him.

I skidded. I crashed.

And then I saw you look at me in your rearview mirror and not stop.

Yeah, that's right. I saw you see me.

I hope that extra second you saved got you to where you needed to go in a prompt manner or that it helped save someone's life. I hope you were doing something really important like heading to your daughter's wedding or perhaps your own or rushing to be next to someone who's ill and that the second you saved helped someone else.

Because if you were out just to go get a coffee, I might come find you to deliver this message in person.

And I'm sorry, sir, but this has been a long time coming and you're now going to bear the brunt of all my frustrations.

Are we at a place now where it's too much for us to give an extra second of courtesy? Because whereever we are going is so much more important than where everyone else is going, right?

Is it too much now to just be nice?  Yes, I'm talking to you now, Mr. Fisherman who chastised and cursed us because we swam by you when you were fishing, in the place where we've been swimming for years before you got there.

Because it's not enough that we can't share the roads now, we too cannot even share the ocean.

It is ridiculous that I am typing that.

I am not more important than you. You are not more important than me.

All I ask is that we share.

The roads, the ocean, the earth.

You don't have to open the door for me (although it would be nice), but don't slam it in my face.

You don't have to give 20 feet to me when I'm riding, but please give 3.

You don't have to throw us a welcome parade as we swim by you, but please be patient, it barely takes a minute for us to pass. (And for the record, we went around you. It was annoying for us and it shortened our swim, but we let it go. Can't you?)

We will all be gone soon away from one another, off doing whatever it is that we are doing in this vast open space that we share.

In the meantime, is it possible to just tolerate the mere presence of other people? After all, we are out and about within society. We are all bound to run into other people from time to time.

And while we're at it, we all could use a little more patience. It wouldn't hurt to throw a few more "I'm sorry"s out there into the world either, even if you might not even be wrong. It's just nice.

People remember rude, but they really, really remember nice. Like the old man on his bike who stopped to check if I was ok.

You don't have to like me. That's not what I'm asking. Please just.be.nice.

Yes, I am fine, Mr. Guy in Truck (thanks for asking). I tweaked my ankle, I tweaked my bike, but after my legs stopped shaking I still finished my 27 mile ride on a seat that was sorta sideways.

And to the person who honked at us while we were riding: we are more than annoying cyclists taking up your roadspace.

At the end of the day, I am a wife, a mother of two little boys, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a friend. A writer, college graduate, triathlete, above all a person. I realize the helmet and the spandex can detract from that. But I've come way too far in my life to have it snuffed by some impatient motorist who wants to get to a coffee faster on a Saturday morning.

I abide by all the rules.

I try not to get in your way.

I know that not everyone does that and that cyclists can sometimes offend too so my message to "be nice" extends to everyone.

We might not have anything in common except for the fact that we live here in this space together and that someone out there loves us.

But isn't that enough?

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