It's been a long time, I know, and the gaps between my posts seem to be getting longer. I've been even more distracted by Son's final exams and I find the more energy I expend elsewhere the less inspiration I have for this. Still...let's get started.
Interesting, isn't it, the impact of other people's choices on our lives. Take this cyclist, one of an ever growing army of lycra-clad, leisure cyclists who are taking to the roads here. It's an innocent enough pastime keeping fit, enjoying the view with, at the end, the exhilaration of a goal achieved and good luck to them, I say. Except that this guy's choice is about to have an impact on my blood pressure.
He's riding well enough, I grant you, nicely positioned but we're going ever sooooo slowly up a long, steep climb that winds up a road frequently used by big trucks heavily laden with stone from the quarries so, no, I'm not going to overtake. With a sign I slide the car into first gear and follow him ever sooooo slowly. The truck behind me isn't laden but even so is having difficulties and his metal grille fills my back window. He'd like me to overtake...
Somewhere behind him a queue is forming while the cyclist, legs pumping, lost in a different world remains oblivious to the frustration and the exhaust fumes( maybe not so good for the health, then.) As the horns start blaring a lesser man might have slid gracefully to the side and let his convoy go past but our hero is made of sterner stuff and perhaps gets a kick out of all this negative energy so he slogs onward and upward.
And then the guy behind the lorry, the one who's tired of living decides to go for it. I swear, my passenger swears more and I don't like to think what the cyclist did but it was a dramatic moment as, truthfully, anything could have come round that bend at speed, hill, remember, and there really was no room for error.
I'd like to say that the driver had the fright of his life but of course he didn't..he swept by and disappeared into the dust, the road straightened up and widened a little allowing us to file past while the cyclist struggled on.
I believe quite strongly that he was having such trouble getting up the hill he should have let us past: even slow drivers will pull over. French friends disagree citing all sorts of stuff about rights and liberty. So where do the cyclist's rights stop and mine start? I was, after all, the one the overtaker would have pulled into should there have been an approaching car?
Would you have pulled over?
Would you have overtaken?