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Whose Values Are Stronger?

As I was riding to work the other day, it became evident I was approaching a construction zone. The orange diamond shaped signs indicated that the right lane was closed ahead so I signaled and moved to the left (It seemed logical.) As I passed the first orange barrel slicing the right lane into non-existence, I noticed a car pulling alongside me on my right. It was obvious that he had every intention of passing me before his shrinking lane ran out.

"I clearly had the right of way in my lane so I could hold my position or speed up and make him back off."

I quickly assessed the several choices I had at this point. I clearly had the right of way in my lane so I could hold my position or speed up and make him back off. I’m sure I would have really made his day with this choice, but I could have relished my victory. Because he was apparently in a hurry, this move would most likely have really upset him and he would have ridden on my butt all the way through the work area.

If he didn’t back off, he might have hit one or more of the orange barrels (Serves him right!), possibly bouncing it off the concrete sidewall and sending it flying in front of me. Even though it was made of plastic, it was still large enough that I wasn’t ready to try to push it out of my way or climb over it. Imagining it, or the flashing yellow light on top of it, flying in my direction was not a pretty thought.

If I merely stayed my course, he could have simply moved over on his own like I didn’t even exist. As I’m not into lane sharing, especially in narrow construction zones fraught with uneven surfaces and roadwork rubble, this picture didn’t register high on my top ten list either.

Although I had a little space cushion to my left in the heavy traffic, it represented a last ditch option for me. It was just too tight for a normal lane change. I suppose I could have tried sounding my feeble motorcycle horn and hope he heard it over the sound of the highway traffic and his cranking CD. I also considered waving the indigenous digit at him, but that didn’t seem like an appropriate alternative either.

Letting him have his way by rolling off the throttle and using the brakes seemed to be my best option. This allowed him to move in front of me without taking out my front wheel and soon he was soon gone. I no longer had to worry about him. I was freed from his highway greed to enjoy the rest of my ride.

Yes, I gave in. But then I had more to lose than he did. I can’t control how this bonehead, or anyone else, drives or what he does. I can, however, control what I do and how I respond to the situation. I may be tempted to try to kick his butt, but I’d rather save mine. To me, it’s just a matter of values. I value my dent-free body more than he obviously values his dent-free car.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!