Last Friday found me taking advantage of one of those nice, mild January afternoons that come and go at random around here. Which is another way of saying I went out on my bike. As usual, I had started out riding more or less into the breeze so I would have a tailwind coming home (I’m such a slacker).
As I rode toward home along a straight one-mile stretch of road, I saw two or three school buses and some other traffic coming from the opposite direction. We were getting pretty close together when the caution lights started flashing on the school bus in front. I just knew it was about to stop, and its red lights would flash and its robotic STOP sign would swing out, and I would lose all that lovely momentum because I am a real stickler for safety when it comes to children, so of course I was going to stop at the first movement of that robo-STOP sign. I sped up a little, hoping I might dive past the STOP sign before it swung out but, since the bus was clearly rolling to a stop, I kept my hands on the brake levers too.
You might as well know that relations between those on two wheels and those on four-plus wheels sometimes become… well… tense. I have had motorists yell “Get that thing off the road!!” at me, when I was bicycling on the shoulder of a highway and nowhere close to being in the way. And once when a pickup truck ran over and ruined my $1200 bike, the cop who came to the accident scene did not file a report. Probably thought Ms. Pickup had performed a public service. The point here is, I was not optimistic.
Then something amazing happened. The bus braked to a dead stop, still flashing yellow, and sat there for another two seconds as I scooted by. Only then did the driver engage the robo-STOP and red lights. A motorist — driving a school bus, no less –had waited for me (a mere cyclist) to pass, even though it meant holding up a string of other traffic.
I felt like the feathered protagonists in Make Way for Ducklings.
So thank you, Ms. Bus Driver. Your kindness has brightened my day and renewed my optimism about the neighborliness of my fellowman. Not to mention helping me maintain my killer average speed. (Well, okay, that last item is an exaggeration.) Anyway, it was such a beautiful thing that I wanted to pass it on.
Today I am linking up this bit of sunshine with my wonderful friends over at Soli Deo Gloria.
Thanks for reading!