Aging Scrapbook

/ Stories / By Age / ’70s /


I’ve been riding my bike nearly every day for a bit now, three miles, five miles … I’m embarrassed to report a mistake I just made:
I was pedalling home through Woodhaven Estates. A couple, elderly, were walking ahead of me. When I first took up skiing I was grateful to the experts who would warn “On your left” or “On your right” as they whizzed past me. This pair shifted position, and then some. Finally I was almost upon them, the woman was lurching a bit left. I decided the safest and most courteous thing would be to pass them on her right. So I said, softly, “On your right.”

I saw no response from her or him, but by that time I was abreast of her and passing her. “Ooo, ooo, ooo,” I heard from her. “Ahh, ahh.” Then, “You should toot your horn.”

No, I did better than that: I spoke, in an even voice, unalarmingly. At least that was the intention.

I’m 78 1/2. I don’t hear much of what people say. I suspect this couple didn’t either. I warned them, they remained unwarned. Now I see that I should have come up on his left, should have warned them earlier, should have made sure they acknowledged me … Or I should have blared them off the face of the planet with a truck horn! I worked in a motorcycle place in NY& in 1967: Outrider sold truckers’ air horns for motorcycles: clear traffic for ten miles!

I coming up behind them, I should warn them in a polite way; but at the same time at some time pedestrians become responsible for their own handicaps: they certainly weren’t paying attention.

London Bridge is the first known avenue to have instituted traffic rules: then invented traffic keeping to the left, or to the right. With manners many more people can it into the one shrinking world.

Points I yield on: I believe that pedestrians should have right of way and right of courtesy over vehicles: they were afoot, I was on a bicycle.
Further: it was (I presume their park, not mine. I owed them a little extra courtesy. They were old: I should beware of assuming competence.
But I’m old too. they should beware of assuming competence … pk, joking again.

Stories by Theme by Age

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in chronological pk, old age, pk Personal, stories. Bookmark the permalink.

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