Save That Number!

With my truck in the shop to repair the disaster an errant bolt loosed from the ring gear inside the rear differential, I have been forced to commute to work this week. Thank God I have the legs to make it up and over Hackberry! I have been trying to make myself do this for years. Wake up early and ride to work. Ride everyday. Leave the truck at the office and get a good ride in everyday. I am ashamed to admit that it has taken a catastrophe to get me off my ass and use the bike for something other than recreation. ( It only occurred to me today that I could have rented a car...good thing I'm too cheap for that!) Besides...I love to get on the road bike and actually go somewhere as opposed to simply riding a loop for the sake of fitness.

This post from the Surly Blog seemed appropriate to my new found purpose...

From Surly:
I play this little game while riding to and from work where I memorize the license plate of a passing car. When the next car drives by I memorize that one, and so on and so on. If there is an altercation, I've trained myself to look at the license plates first. So rather than use my middle finger to tell somebody how I feel, I can find out where they live based on that license plate and send them a letter of gratitude.

Flashback 10 weeks to Valentines Day in February. I'm riding within the law and hugging the curb as much as I safely can, doing about 20mph down the street, when a car lays on their horn for a good 10 seconds. They pass me, I memorize the license plate, approach them at the red light one block down, and stare into her window. No words said, no middle finger needed, I had her plates.

I "obtain" her name and home address (don't ask how) and write her the following letter:

"Dear Nancy,
Thanks for the extended horn honk this morning. It reminded me that today is Valentines Day and my wife just loves red tulips, the same red as your Cadillac. So thanks for the horn honk. Happy Valentines Day.
- Cyclist on 66th St."

I also enclose a fake traffic ticket and a copy of the Minnesota Department of Transportation rules of the road. No threats, other than she knows I know where she lives.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. I'm riding to work as usual, signaling my turns, flowing with traffic and abiding by the law when a car honks. I see the familiar license plate and verify the same red Cadillac with an older blonde woman driving. I wish you all could've seen her face when she pulled along side me at the red light and I said "Hi Nancy". All she could do was grip her steering wheel, look straight ahead, and figure out how she was going to get the poop off her panty hose once she got to work.

Score one for the cyclist.