Saturday, July 10, 2010

After the front

There is this funny little myth about Canada that swears it snows here 365 days a year except for Vancouver. While it certainly gets cold and snowy here, that doesn't mean we don't get summer. This year, in fact this past week, we not only had summer but the humidity made conditions intolerable for any outdoor activity - catriking included.

Then, we had a half-way decent rainfall yesterday as a cold front passed and now the weather is a little cooler, not to mention easier to take. So, this morning, after a good breakfast, we decided to head out on what would be a 22 kilometre traipse through the Blossom Park Greenboro area.

The air was very humid and, with my MS acting up in this weather, we were in no hurry. Our trip started at home and then heading south on Bridlepath to Trapper's. I'm not going to bore you silly with a detailed account of every road we drove on. Suffice it to say we had a really good look at Saturday morning on the roads. There were quite a number of older people out walking their dogs before the day got to be too hot. I did see one young woman jogging and pushing a stroller at the same time. Interestingly enough, the number of cars was markedly low for a Saturday morning but I wasn't going to complain about that.

Our general direction was east and it was not long before we found ourselves at the local farm, Limeydale. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what vegetables they had. If there had been anything of interest, it would not take much to convince me to buy - not to mention buy local. We really like the taste of fresh corn and maybe a small part of me hoped there would be some there. With the two panniers on my trike, it is nothing to pick up a couple of dozen ears of corn. If Adam is with me, that's two more panniers on his trike to hold anything else. Alas, the season is still so young so we will have to wait just a little longer.

We turned around at that point and would simply reverse our path to get home. The day was getting really quite hot, now, and so getting home soonest would be the best option we felt. It wasn't until we were about to turn onto the little street that connects ours with Bridlepath that we had an interesting encounter.

Bridlepath is a fairly well travelled road and with the weather having been nice, it was not surprising to see many others out driving around. It can get a little tricky when we're out on our trikes as we are slower than cars but we make a concerted effort to both move seamlessly with traffic and to strenuously obey the rules of the road.

Getting home involves a few left turns. Coming down Bridlepath, we needed to stop in the middle of the road to allow opposite direction traffic through before we could turn left. However, a car actually stopped and tried to wave us through. The gentleman in the truck behind her couldn't see why she had stopped and seemed to be contemplating passing her...and colliding right into us both if we had accepted this person's well meaning gesture. In the meantime, I was shaking my head and waving her through. She shrugged and smiled as she slid by seemingly oblivious to both the irritation of the truck driver behind her and the issue of following the rules of the road.

What we see a lot of are well meaning drivers who try to wave us through when we clearly do NOT have the right of way. While we certainly appreciate the thoughtfulness cannot emphasize enough that this is just not the right thing to do. Rules of the road are put in place to allow for the smooth and predictable flow of traffic. If some person comes to an intersection and - for whatever reason - decides to come to a stop at a green light so he or she can allow traffic at the red light to come through, the carnage would be terrible. The fact is that too many car drivers and cyclists do not understand that both cars and cycles are considered vehicles and so must abide by the same rules of the road. We don't run red lights or stop signs and we don't give the right of way to someone else if it's our turn to go. Cars aren't allowed to drive on the sidewalk so catrikes aren't either (at least it's like that here). I guess my point is that if you want to be nice and thoughtful, please don't block traffic but please don't cut us off either. We don't block traffic and we don't cut anyone off.

Saturday's trip was 22 kilometres.

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