Home > Bicycling, Transit > “You’re fair game”

“You’re fair game”

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

In Seattle, 3rd Ave is closed to cars during rush hour – except for short distances.  Cars are only allowed on 3rd until the next right turn.  Left turns across 3rd are prohibited during rush hour.  Cyclists, on the other hand, are allowed to ride the full length of 3rd Ave.  So, during rush hour you’ll see lots of buses and cyclists mingling (along with some cars risking a $124 ticket, but that’s another story).

As I was driving the #14 down 3rd Ave, I noticed a cyclist stopped between two buses in the center lane.  I pulled up next to him to service a bus stop which completed a 3 sided bus “box” around him – one in front, one in back, and my bus to his right side.  Many cyclists in such situations freak out and do all sorts of dangerous things, like split lanes and ride between buses, to get out of the box.  But this guy was just calmly waiting for the light to turn green.  As I often do with fellow cyclists, I decided to opened my window and chat with him since I knew the light was going to be red for a while.  This is where the story goes wrong.  (Yeah, I tend to stick my foot in my mouth sometimes but it usually works out).  I start off by saying “You’re a braver man than I am” which implies that I think he’s nuts.  He gives me a bit of a puzzled look and doesn’t seem to know how to respond.  I immediately realize this isn’t going well and decide to keep digging a deeper hole.  “Oh, you’re fair game”.  Doh!  Not good.  Not good.  I immediately back pedal, nervously say that I bike to work (which I had done that day) and somehow convince this fellow cyclist that I don’t think he’s nuts, that he is indeed allowed on 3rd avenue, and that I was impressed with sane and confident riding.  Ok, good save.  Maybe next time, I’ll think it through a bit more before I open my mouth while driving a bus in uniform.

Categories: Bicycling, Transit
  1. Jeff Welch
    November 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    This is why transit needs you, Matt. You bring balance to The Force.

  2. November 5, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks – and I like your reaction much better than that of the Metro drivers who honk at me when I ride in front of them on 3rd.

  3. November 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I’ve been on bike and have unexpected reactions when I try to strike up a conversation. A few chips on shoulders, I think.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: