#Pocalypso | An Otherwise Lovely Bike Ride
2020-05-18 – Saturday was a beautiful day in Chicago and I took advantage of it by going out for a long bike ride. It’s been raining a lot lately. To reach my desired mileage (40 miles) I put together my social distancing route through the north shore (20) and my social distancing route into the city.
As I was riding north on Sheridan road, somewhere near Plaza del Lago, a southbound pickup truck started honking—a seemingly friendly honk. And a hand was out the window waving, apparently at me. This is actually not that uncommon, though the wavers are usually other bicyclists. I waved back.
Instantly, the wave changed into a finger.
Why would someone going the opposite direction, who is not impeded in the least by my presence, want to give me the finger? Two things immediately came to mind: he hates bicyclists or he hates people with masks (I was wearing mine). Of course, it could be both of those things or neither. How could I know?
But this raised my attention to the behavior of cars around me. More bizarre behavior. Unnecessarily big pickup trucks (possibly owned by commodity traders who want to be prepared in case they have to take delivery of a futures contract in corn?) and expensive sports frequently rev their engines or squeal their tires when they pass a bike. (Are they racing us? If so, they automatically win. So what’s the big deal?) Family cars rarely do this. And cars with bike racks give the widest berth.
Not sure how a bike is threatening to a car that compels north shore drivers to act like this.
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