Monday, May 24, 2010

Road Hogs

Drivers react in so many ways to runners. There are the wild reactionary types who lean on their horns and gesticulate like they're having fits, eyes rolling and mouths flapping, seemingly obsessed with owning the road that is wide enough for at least two of the vehicles they're driving, but certainly not for the runner who is taking up less space than the occasional bag of Mcdonald's garbage on the curbside. These types amuse me to an extent, but I get alarmed when they have passengers in the vehicle whose lives are obviously at risk.
Before you start assuming that I'm one of those runners who push the envelope, running on narrow, busy streets and causing excessive angst for the drivers out there who, I know, are also runners in many instances, I will assure you that I am very safety conscious. I take back streets, quite deserted, very wide, and 90% of my routes include bike lanes in which I run. I wear bright running gear as well.
The clueless drivers really scare me. You just know that they don't see you and could easily run you down if you don't hop back up on the curb.
The best, though, was one time during a blizzard when I was stopped waiting for a light. There were drifts of snow on the road, visibility was about two feet, and the wind was close to 50km/h. The driver of the van beside me rolled down his window and asked me how the traction was. We chatted until the light changed; he was a runner too and was jealous that he wasn't out there running as well. Those are the drivers you want to see more of.

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