A couple times a week somebody driving a car does something that, were I not paying attention on my bike, might result in my death or injury or perhaps just a closer call than the one I had.
Usually, when the person realizes that he or she has almost creamed me in a crosswalk, or turned left into me broadside, or right-hooked or door-prized me, or just basically squashed me flat like a bug, I get this sheepish reaction, with a shrug of the shoulders, and more often than not, a little wave of the hand intended to convey that it was all unintentional and had I been killed or maimed it would have been an accident, “Oh gosh, sorry, I didn’t mean it; I’m still a good person and bikes are cool, okay?”
But next time, pay a little more attention, whydoncha?
It’s lovely that drivers recognize their mistakes and divorce themselves from the people they’d be had they committed vehicular homicide, but it would be nicer, wouldn’t it, if that tiny embarrassed wave were unnecessary altogether, that the person behind the wheel could have been driving in a manner that wouldn’t have led to the near-miss in the first place.
I understand the human element: nobody wants to be considered a clueless maniac (except perhaps clueless maniacs); the wave is meant to be an indicator of the driver’s basic humanity; that’s all well and good. I’d do the same thing were I the one on the two ton gas-guzzling death trap bearing down on a vulnerable member of my own species.
Still, it seems to me that something more than a simple hand-gesture is in order. Perhaps instead of waving, drivers could lob a package of twenty-dollar bills in my direction.
Or maybe they could turn their hands around and choke themselves, while simultaneously banging their heads on the windshield AND lobbing a package of twenty-dollar bills at me.
If so, I’ll wave back.