Sadly, my good mood was a bit diminished by a rude woman in a speeding car. We were merging into the middle lane to make a left turn, using hand signals and turning my head to make sure it was clear. It is the hairiest part of the ride but I was riding correctly and safely and the woman still zoomed around us with disparaging remarks. It wasn't nearly the worst I've heard or even very hateful but it's still difficult to be brought back into reality and realize that not everyone is on our team. We have had such a positive response and generally courteous drivers but there are always those who don't understand bicyclists. I try to give a friendly wave and smile to cars that give us extra space or slow down around us to reinforce their good behavior and let them know that even those small gestures mean the world to an itty-bitty cyclist in an SUV world.
I've always thought that bicyclists make the best drivers. We know what it is like to be passed within inches of our handlebars and how it can be difficult to get moving from a dead stop so we might need a little extra time. In many countries, getting a driver's license if much harder and bicycles are much more common. The USA makes cars too easy to get into and therefore, we take driving too lightly. Many people think I'm nuts for putting my kids on a bike-- because no one ever dies in a car, right? Bump up the driving age, rack up the gas prices, lower the speed limits. That's my opinion. Shake up the drivers and make them realize that using a car isn't a God-given right that they can take advantage of. Give people bikes and make it easy and safe to get around. Maybe some of those extra endorphins will brighten their mood.