On yesterday morning's commute I was honked by a car driver who passed close by whilst gesticulating offensively at me with his hand. I was cycling at the left hand side of the main carriageway at the top of the hill descending south on the A65 from Horsforth. There is a cycle lane here but I don't use it because it (a) crosses several side roads and a dangerous junction at the bottom of the hill - at speed, (b) is often obstructed by parked cars and (c) on this occasion full of icy slush and muck. I caught up with him in queuing traffic near the Abbey and suggested he wind down his window to explain his concerns. At this point I could have started shouting at him for his behaviour and dangerous driving but I remembered a post a while back from Allan Luxton about a similar incident he had with a white van. Taking a deep breath I asked the driver what he was honking me about. He said I shouldn't be in the road and should have used the cycle lane. I asked him why he thought I might have done this. This seemed to stop him in his tracks. He ummed a bit and said he didn't know. I explained my reasoning, and also noted that there was plenty of room for him to pass me even when I was using the main carriageway. I also said I had no desire to get in his way, it was just the nature of the facilities and road. He apologised, I believe, sincerely, and we parted. I consider this a much more productive outcome than the standard acrimonious 'them and us' insult exchange.
A better way to change behaviour?
Submitted by WillC on Mon, 18/02/2013 - 14:22