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Kind of a prize-winning binning day

September 7, 2015
It pays to be a careful cyclist!

It pays to be a careful cyclist!

You’ve heard of door prizes, right? Well, Monday afternoon (September 7) I was the lucky recipient of a “nearly-doored” prize.

I was riding south on Laurel Street between 13th and 14th Avenue — at a measured speed, watching the cars that were parked ahead of me on my right for any signs of life.

I saw a telltale flicker in a driver-side mirror and tacked left to give one upcoming car a little more room and as I passed this four-door sedan I made eye contact with the driver as she abruptly threw her door open. There was no heat whatsoever in my glance but her eyes were wide. One of us was surprised.

Why I can never blame Vancouver drivers

This close encounter occurred a quarter of the way along a city block and I only went a quarter of the way further before I pulled up at the intersection with an alley.

I saw that the woman was out of her car and looking over at me. She may have thought that I had stopped so that I could have a word or two with her but I had actually stopped to check a container recycling blue bin.

I wasn’t there to chat up absent-minded drivers but to fill my bike trailer with returnable beverage containers and cash them in at the bottle depot lickety-split, before it closed early at 3 p.m. because of the Labour Day holiday.

The woman came right over to me, carrying her groceries, I guessed. She had wonderful, long raven-black hair.

She stopped in front of me and declared that she had almost hit me with the door of her car.

That was true but I was prepared to overlook the fact. Instead I said something about looking out for each other and sharing the road and no harm done.

What I didn’t say to her was how I sometimes imagine that all motor vehicles in Vancouver are fitted with one-way glass and that while I can see in, the poor drivers themselves are unable to see out. And how this means that I have to watch out for them — not the other way round.

Anyway, the woman presented me with the two bags that she was carrying — a handled paper grocery sack and a plastic carrier bag, both containing returnable beverage containers. The combined value of the plastic water bottles and aluminum pop cans was a little over a dollar but, like people say, it was the thought that counted.

She was certainly apologizing for nearly dooring me and she may even have been thanking me for being attentive enough to avoid injury and thus save her a potentially expensive process involving the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

I accept her apology and it was my pleasure, really. Click the image to enlarge it.

  1. Slowcrow permalink

    Handled well. Hopefully will go ‘verbally-viral’ and cut down on the horrifying ‘dooring’ incidences.


    • When I get into a situation like this with a driver I’m also always mindful of the kind of carnage that I would likely cause behind the wheel of a car…parked…with the engine off.


  2. I don´t have that kind of patience nor am I friendly enough, I guess. If someone cuts me off or behaves similarly rude, you will either hear me or see a variety of hand gestures pointed at the other driver. I respect you for staying calm and collected in such situations. Well done!


  3. Slowcrow permalink

    Off topic but, hope you happened to notice the Nate Schweber New York Times piece ‘Life on the Streets’. Wish I could figure out Tweeting…… 😦 Hope Standalone and friends hear it.


    • Slowcrow permalink

      Wow! Thanks for posting this link. What i was referring to was John Bachelor’s interview with Schweber, on his very recent radio show, and the revelations and facts that he was learning regarding HOW people can become unhoused, and WHY people don’t take ‘advantage’ of ‘all the help’ that is ‘available’ to them, etc., etc., etc., 🙂 Maybe its in a podcast somewheres….


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