Horny Drivers

(I don’t have a graphic for this post, so the title had to draw you in)

Riding home on this chilly Melbourne night, I had a car behind me that I could just feel wanted me out of the way. I was on one of the back streets of Richmond which has diligently placed bike lanes on certain roads. Yes, on the roads. In the middle of the road there is a bike sign painted, with those curious arrow type signs which basically means you can ride there.

Now, I get it. The City of Yarra (where Richmond is) is trying to find a safe way for cyclists from the city to get a safe passage, but the problem is that car drivers don’t realise this until they are behind a cyclist and possibly getting annoyed that they are a) taking the whole lane b) so much slower than they are c) existing. 

But then I thought ‘Hang on a minute. I have no proof that the person driving the car behind me is thinking those things. That’s just my own prejudiced notions. What if they are actually a bike rider themselves? What if they secretly harbour convictions of green politics or just think the world could be a a tad better? Or, perhaps most dramatically, what if they don’t want me to feel under pressure?’

And then I started thinking about how that driver might let me know this. The only ability a driver has to inform the world of anything is by honking their horn which generally means “Your wrong”, “Your too slow”, ‘Your not paying attention”, “Go” etc. But what if there was another horn (or ability for a car to make a noise at any rate) that signified “It’s cool – take your time”, “You go first”, “I see you, and will wait for you to pass” or somesuch. How less frantic, how much more cordial, how bloody lovely.

And how much a pipe dream.

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