A pleasant surprise

Most of the news involving monster trucks posted around here isn’t positive, so I thought I’d share an interesting experience I had today.

My buddy and I out for a ride on a highway with no shoulder just outside Forest Grove when we heard a lot of honking. I noticed a bunch trucks emblazened in flags approaching quickly in my rearview mirror.

Experience has taught me these sorts of vehicles correlate with a personality type that is unkind to cyclists, so I mentally prepared myself for rough play – getting buzzed, coal rolled, yada yada.

However, as this line of trucks and full size SUVs passed me and my buddy, every single of them let up on their horns (the honking was just part of their display and not directed at anyone in particular) and every single one of them passed cleanly, many of them outright courteously. This was an impressive line – we easily encountered more vehicles in the 2 minutes or so it took to clear us than we in the previous 30 miles.

The explosion of flags, Trump signs, and color and vibe that projected over the top demonstrative exuberance they put off were such that as they passed, I found myself thinking, “didn’t realize this crew was into Gay Pride week.” Despite being overtaken by a long line of huge vehicles on a shoulderless road, there was absolutely nothing unpleasant about the experience.

After it all passed, I got a reality check with my buddy. He was also prepared for a rough time but it just didn’t happen. We were scratching our heads as to why they left us alone – and why they’d do something like that where no one would see them, but hey, I’ll take it.

My only regret is that I did not extend the courtesy I normally give passing motorists, namely a Fredly five fingered wave. I didn’t want to be misinterpreted as supporting them, but I should’ve done it anyway simply to recognize good play on the roads.

Credit where credit is due. Happy riding.


Glad to see it! Courtesy comes in all sizes and shapes (& so does discourtesy). I recommend giving a friendly wave to ANY vehicle that goes out of its way to be courteous. This reinforces to them that their choice is noticed and appreciated. I even give drivers a little nod when they yield to me even when I already have the right of way; I shouldn’t have to do this, I know, but reinforcing the human-to-human contact in a car-bike encounter just might benefit the next cyclist the car passes. We need every break we can get on the road.