|Looking Down Bedford Euless Road, the Freeway is in the Distance at the Bottom of the Hill|
This Morning, I Made the Trek Up in the Dark
Things were uneventful on my ride into work until I crossed the 183 Airport Freeway and began the long climb up the hill of Bedford Euless Road in Bedford Texas. The photo below is looking down that hill. The Freeway I mention is in the very distance in that photo. As you can see, Bedford Euless is a pretty straightforward five lane road. It's easy for motorists to pass me. Mostly they pass me when I'm climbing the hill, because that's the direction where our speed differential is greatest. It being the morning commute, it was dark. As usual, I had my two tail lights lit, I had my rear reflector, and I was using "the flamethrower" head light on the "low" setting.
Well, about a block south of the freeway, I was passed by three or four motorists. One of them failed to realize there was a cyclist ahead that required a lane change in order to pass and had to wait two or three seconds to make her lane change. Nothing real untypical. Or was there? As it turned out, there was yet one more car behind me. I looked back again and saw a Mercedes with its left turn signal on, or so I thought. THIS car, however, did NOT pass. After a block, this began to disturb me, because I'd been planning on taking "the first left" to visit some canine friends along the way. I deferred this plan because it seemed imprudent to move over with a motorist directly behind me.
Finally, the motorist changed lanes and I did a head check. NOW, the right turn signal was on and I wondered if the motorist was planning to make a right turn from the left lane across my path. Paranoia washed over me. It didn't abate any when the motorist changed back to the right hand lane; again directly behind me. What was this guy thinking? Why would a motorist follow a cyclist UP a hill with a perfectly good second lane to use for passing? Was this a nutjob who was just waiting for an opportunity to try out that new assault rifle?
About this time, I realized the motorist didn't have turn signals on at all, but rather had four way flashers. What? Was this a case where he was planning some mayhem against my person, or was it an extreme case of a misguided attempt to "play protective parent?"
Well, eventually, I got to the top of the hill and made my left turn about a block behind where I was standing when I took the photo. To my amazement, the Mercedes continued along, in the right lane, with its four way flashers flashing. It neither speeded up nor did the driver or passenger seem the slightest bit interested in where I was going.
Lesson: Sometimes when you're paranoid, you're just being paranoid!