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05/05/2014: "Market Run"
The Monday morning run to the farmers' market, three or four miles north on a narrow and entirely residential street (except wehre it crosses arterials and host businesses on each corner). Because this street, Hauser, suffers traffic signals at each major crossing, it draws scurrying hordes of motorists too lazy to use big, broad, fast La Brea a short distance to the east. So they jam onto this thirty-foot-wide, twenty-five miles-per-hour street of houses and yards, duplexes, and small courtyard apartments and crowd each other over in the nervous manner of roaches fleeing the light as they endeavor to pass through at forty or more, oblivious to anything except their own sense of entitlement.

I have many times been repeatedly passed on this street by the same two or three cars, only to find them bunched up, snout to tail, at the next stop sign or red light. And the next, and the next. And just today, ont eh way home from the market—I was passed, illegally close of course; that's normal, but in this case it was closer than usual—by some typical imbecile in a towering SUV with a broken side mirror, no doubt sacrificed to an earlier squeeze play somewhere, whom I of course came up to within a block, at a cross street. I pulled up next to him where there was plenty of room between car and curb, when suddenly he lurched into a right urn without signaling. Since he was sof ar left that there was room for another road user to his right, this made his turn doubly illegal. Fortunately my abiding sense of distrust kept me from following my impulse to move ahead, or he would have collided with me.

I wonder if he's one of those orthographically-challenged droolers who fill comments columns with complaints of "scofflaw cyclists." I wouldn't be surprised….

On the ride up, however, I had a sweeter interaction with a servant of the motorcar. A woman about to enter her sedan stopped by her open door to talk with a neighbor across the street. There was traffic coming downhill as I pedaled up, leaving not too much room, even for a bicycle. The woman by her door casually pulled it in a few inches as I approached, to give me more room. No eye contact, no big fuss…just doing the right and neighborly thing, perhaps without noticing it herself.

More than made up for the later lout's selfishness. But how rare a kindness is on LA streets, if I have to make a note of it!

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