I don’t often have a driver of a car roll down their window to talk to me, but yesterday one did and we had quite an interesting conversation.
Firstly she said that she was a cyclist and that my bright head light which I happened to have in flash mode was blinding her from behind. When I was behind her I noticed that she seemed to have her hand up to her window much like I have done when bright lights hit the mirror just right. (I wonder if my mirrors are not properly angled when that happens) In fact it seemed that she had her hand to her ear originally and I immediately thought cell phone.
You are going to get hit!
She did reference those with Epilepsy in this statement. While I agree that some people are adversely affected by strobe lights from high school theatre warnings, I disagreed that this would make me more prone to getting hit. I calmly stated “You saw me right?”
Apparently she was just having a bad day, but I thought it was particularly interesting that she decided to get into a discussion with me. Granted when I see people with cell phones up to their ear I give them an evil stare, I rarely say anything. I may gesture to put the phone down, but as they are in a car, I don’t want to fuel any rage and get run off the road or run over.
Turn your Headlights On
Okay…so I was a little bit snarky as I asked her to turn her headlights on. I had come up behind her noticing her tail lights were not on which is usually indicative of the “My lights are on” when really just the day-time running lights are on.
Oddly enough she did not miss a beat to scold me for having a highly noticeable headlight as she turned on her headlights. 🙂
Be Visible and Be a Driver
So the moral of the story? I don’t feel that I was doing anything wrong. In fact, I feel better about my $100 headlight as it makes me visible to drivers. So much so that it annoys some of them.
Be a Driver. Be in the correct position in the lane, obey traffic laws, and staying alert and visible will help you survive the busy metro streets even during rush hour 🙂
Need some tips about driving safely as a cyclist? Contact your local bike advocacy group for safety class opportunities.