When I would be out fencing… Let me rephrase that for the Americans. When I would be out fixing a fence in one of our fields close to the more heavily trafficked roads in the area, cars would often beep as they passed. I’d usually be looking away or down the far end of the field but it would be impossible to tell who it might be that was saying hello. When I was younger, this bothered me a lot. Not that it was an annoyance, but I was left to wonder who it was that beeped. Who spotted little old me while they were driving and went to the bother of honking their horn to let me know “Fair play, lovely day for it,” or whatever it is people try to say with the honk of the horn to one that is out fencing.
Temperature: 75 f | Wind Speed: 7 mph | Miles this month: 80.75m | Miles this year: 228.56m (1,792.44m to go)
I’m not sure what changed or when I slowly started to realize that they might not know it was me. If I couldn’t see them, what were the chances they had a clear visual of me? They were driving 60 miles per hour, took a quick look in and saw our tractor, and probably gave a beep thinking I was the aul’ lad or maybe they didn’t care which of us it was. I also don’t remember at what point I realized there were also just arseholes in the world but it might have been when I became one of them. People can also beep at you because they think it’s funny. Because they know you’re going to turn around and wonder who the fuck that might have been that beeped and that it would play on your mind on and off for the next few days.
What is a mischievous beep in one country, is a mindless insult or incoherent yell in another. So it is in America – or at least the sleepy suburbs of Boston. I have no idea what the carful of kids yelled as they passed but it definitely wasn’t cheering me on for my controlled speed and mesmeric rhythm. It’s not something that bothers me – especially since I almost never have any idea what they said – but it’s surprising how often it happens. Based on movies, I expected kids would be bashing mailboxes with baseball bats much more frequently that yelling at strangers on bikes.
I also had one dickhead cyclist pass me out on the inside as I was stopped at a light. I was not long after passing him out and he came damn close to hitting me before mounting the sidewalk and continuing on and making all cyclists look like dickheads in the process. I passed him again within a few hundred meters with his stupid white shirt tucked into his black shorts peddling as fast as his little chicken legs would allow. Less than two laps later, I caught up to him again only to realize it was a different guy in the very same outfit. About two laps later, I encountered the exact same outfit again but worn by a third guy. It was like they were competing as part of a really poorly outfitted (and unathletic) relay team for whom competing was more important than winning
I did also pass out a bicycle cop at a canter at one point which was a bit of a high point in the cycle for me. I can’t believe my laps were slower today (albeit by a grand total of 17 seconds) but I blame traffic on this. There was a lot more stopping and yielding due to it being rush hour. My ride today was also 0.11 miles longer than yesterday, although I did the exact same route. The reason? I took off and realized I forgot my helmet and gloves so had to turn back.