Its been a long day here in Indiana. I ran out of shoulder space for my cart. This puts me up close and personal with oncoming traffic. The situation creates more work. Not only is the paved or rock shoulder nearly nonexistent, but the weeds alongside the pavement is uncut. Pushing the cart in high growth is an ugly business. If that weren’t enough it seems heavy truck use is way up. I spend a lot of time reading oncoming traffic. All kinds of signals are in the drivers actions and faces too… clues to tell me how to anticipate and take advantage of slivers of pavement as they become available. You likely will never need these tips but I offer them to give you a sense of life on my highway.
The oncoming traffic swings out of its lane early to make room. My Response is to get my cart wheels on a piece of pavement. (outside of line of course.) When oncoming slows and doesn’t yield an inch of pavement my response anticipates traffic closing in behind me. I cant afford to take my eyes off oncoming but if vehicle behind me is big i’ll hear it and can adjust just how far into the weeds I need to go.
Sometimes oncoming swerves toward me some distance in front of my cart. Yes, people do seem to take aim now and then. It has several possible meanings. Usually I read it as intimidation… “Get off my road” and usually my response is to stand my ground. In fact I sometimes chant the Mel Gibson line from Braveheart … “Hold, Hold”
Unfortunately my cart possesses no sharpened pole to slay the iron beast. Anyway, drivers usually make the decision to resume a normal lane position. If the driver continues to squeeze me off the minimal shoulder, I step away from the cart, leaving it in position, and take a step into the ditch. To date nobody has taken my cart out … Too much fender damage? Possibly. Reading the drivers faces is important because It may not be aggression. It may be an inattentive driver. Is he looking for something , talking to someone in the backseat, texting … these folks require additional attention on my part. Taking to the weeds is a certainty.
What unnerves me the most is the driver that passes a car behind me and takes the lane I am hugging as their own at a high rate of speed … I feel like that lone bowling pin bobbling as a speedy ball goes flying by in the gutter. Those close calls scar my psyche. When a threat is in front of you it is easy to address and prepare for, but when one is blindsided there is no time for involvement .. no time to prepare. I like the idea of having a This is it moment. I prefer to face my mortality … to feel i have some control and a moment of reckoning. Seeing your risks seems easier to bear than that risk from nowhere. But life isn’t like that is it? Climate change came out of nowhere and leaves humanity bobbling in disbelief. Time will tell. For humanity, for Steve, and for you … bobbling hair raising moments will come.