It’s funny how one simple nuance can change perspective.
This morning, on my commute to work, I came within inches of getting hit broadside by a car. I had been waiting for the light to change at Loop Road and Butterfield, a double lane left turn onto Butterfield. I take that left for a few hundred feet before I turn right onto Leask Lane, my cut through to Warrenville Road from the Wheaton area. It was around 6:30 AM, just as the sun was blazing into the eyes of east bound traffic. As I crossed into the east bound lane on Butterfield, I heard first a revving engine followed by the stuttering screech that lock up car tires make when anti-lock brakes are slammed on. The little blue Toyota stopped just a few feet from my right side, probably one of the closest calls I have had in nearly twenty years of bike commuting. I turned a mean stare on the driver of the Toyota, a blonde girl who looked to be high school age, probably on her way to Glenbard South. She was shocked to the point of tears and as I rolled on I could hear her beginning to weep through the open passenger window.
And that changed my outlook. Seeing her shocked expression, the tears, hearing the girl begin to cry, took away what adrenaline rush there was from the near accident. Instead I felt pity for the girl, waved at her as she passed and gave her a thumbs up as she slowed down to say she was sorry. It’s kind of difficult to be angry at someone when they do that. Maybe it doesn’t hurt having a sixteen year old girl who is driving also.
Great morning for a ride!