It’s my road too.

Dear person who honked at me:

Look, a car horn isn’t really the best communication medium there is. I guess we could try morse code, or set phrases like the general 10-codes, but outside of that I don’t really know what you’re trying to tell me. Of course, I have some guesses.

Maybe you’re trying to tell me that you think I should be on the sidewalk. Funny thing is, that’s actually illegal in a lot of places. Bicycles are considered vehicles and as such, we’re supposed to be in the street. And moreso, people like me who regularly commute via bicycle tend to cruise along at 20+ mph when we get going. I don’t want to collide with a child or a family pet when going that kind of speed. It wouldn’t end well for anyone.

So nothing personal, but I don’t know you well enough to be willing to break the law for you, grievously injure someone’s kid, or put myself in the hospital.

Maybe you’re trying to share with me that you’re really annoyed there’s a bottleneck where cars can’t go zooming around me, an I’m impeding your progress by up to thirty seconds. You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t have much sympathy for that. You can make up time a lot better than I can with just my quads and a couple of wheels to power me along.

Maybe you’re trying to tell me that you saw another cyclist do Terribly Assholish Thing X, and you now hate all cyclists. Look, I’m sorry that someone was a jerk to you, but that doesn’t mean I’m a jerk or deserve to be punished for their mistakes. When I was little, a dog bit me on the face. I still have a scar. But you don’t see me going around and being mean to every dog I meet because I got the crap scared out of me once.

Maybe you’re trying to tell me that you don’t want to share the road with me. Tough shit, it’s my road too.

Maybe you’re trying to share the important information that your car is equipped with a horn. Well, that’s nice to know. Good for you. 

But this is the thing. When you honk at me, I can’t hear any of that nuance. All I get out of it is: Just wanted you to know, I’m an asshole.

Hope that’s what you were trying to convey.

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