This morning I was happily riding my bike up oxford street in a colourful summer dress. I was trying to get in the right lane before Taylor square so I didn't get stranded on the left of the road. A big petrol tanker was behind me but I gave the truckie a wave and he slowed down to let me in. I continued along fitzroy street and the truckie passed me and gave me a wave. He got stuck at the red light at moore park road so I got ahead of him as I raced down the Anzac Parade bike path. He did get ahead of me though but was stopped again at cleveland street. We kept on going along, I would overtake him while he waited for a light and then he would get past me. We finally waved goodbye to each other when he turned into a petrol station on Alison Road.

I found everything about this situation ironic and lots of fun. This guy was part of the machine that delivers the precious stuff to our petrol hungry society. Meanwhile, I am trying to avoid being part of this system as I ride my bike. He was in a situation where he is normally bored and probably doesn't have a high opinion of cyclists as most professional workers in a city don't really like us scurrying around and potentially slowing them down while they're trying to make money. But i got the feeling he was fun trying to spot where I was along the bike path and wondering whether he was going to catch up to me. His job also gives him an image of being a rough type, while wearing a summer frock riding along on my bike probably gives me an airy fairy image. It just seemed like there was no way we would ever have any social interaction in normal circumstances. However, as we made our way from the city to randwick we made a bond and we were both smiling at the number of times we passed each other. Maybe I was being slightly competitive as I did speed up a bit to pass him but it was all fun.

I will never see this truckie again, but it's random interactions like this that can make your day and build a sense of community and potentially get people thinking about something different. Who know's, maybe he is cleaning up an old bike of his now, and maybe I'm considering a career change towards driving trucks. Riding my bike has allowed me to participate in so many more interactions than I ever could by driving a car, and I love this!

Views: 72

Comment by naomi on December 15, 2009 at 4:31pm
I know what you mean - had a similar interaction not too long ago with a truckie on Broadway. Made me smile all day:)

There is so much more to cycling than transport or fitness - moments like these for instance.
Comment by naomi on December 15, 2009 at 5:03pm
ha I am reading a book about two girls who did exactly that with their Malvern Stars all over Australia in the 40s. They rode but hitched rides with truckies and farmers whenever they could it's a great story.
Comment by Ant Edwards on December 15, 2009 at 5:46pm
I wish I looked good in a summer dress. Maybe thats the safest way to get cars to be polite! But then I might have to shave my legs and I am not ready for that yet. Thanks for the story J, I really enjoyed it, and am heartened that the divide between us and them can be narrowed.
Comment by Jacqueline Hicks on December 16, 2009 at 8:27am
I'm sorry to hear about your accident Kylie. I do think we need to get more frocks on bikes but maybe not so much on racers, There is a movement that has started called Frocks on Bikes http://frocksonbikes.wordpress.com/ which I reckon we should get happening in Sydney.
Comment by BikeSaint on December 16, 2009 at 1:21pm
I had a truckie smile and wave as he waited for me to cross in front of him on Saturday - I had a christmas tree tied to my trailer :o)

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