Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Two ways to make automobiles stop

I've discovered two things that a cyclist can do to make a motorist stop their car and sit there motionless:

  • Make a right turn signal (you know, left arm out and bent at the elbow, hand pointing up). This confuses the hell out of the vast majority of Vancouver drivers. If I'm planning to turn right and a driver is stopped at a stop sign to my right, making the right-turn signal will freeze the driver. They will not go across the intersection until I turn right, even though in the reality-based universe our paths do not intersect each other.
  • Stop and put one foot down at a four-way stop. It seems that the way to convince a driver that you are about to dash into the intersection is to remove your foot from the pedal and make it impossible to propel yourself forward. This happened to me this morning. I came up to a four-way stop and a car approaching from my left got there first. I hovered for a second, but the driver would not go. So to convince him/her that I was really stopping, I put my right foot down. Then we stared at each other for about seven more seconds.

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