red lights are for small talk

Yesterday I was at a red light in Roxbury, at Warren and Townsend.  A guy in a PT Cruiser called out to me.  As a woman cyclist, I tend to be wary of guys who want to talk to me – must be a hold-over from my teen experience with a pervy driver in the ‘burbs.

Anyway, despite my wariness, I do tend to try to be friendly when people talk to me at red lights, because it’s one of my fave things, these red-light chit-chats.

This guy said “Hey! I want to trade!  You know why?”  “Why?” said I.  “Because you don’t use any gas!”  And the light was long enough for him to go on that he often rides a bike himself.  I told him to “keep up the good work!”  He wished me a blessed day and then the light turned and we went along our way.  When he turned off the street, I heard his good-bye beep.

This little exchange put me in a good mood for the rest of my ride (and it happened very early in my ride).  I seldom am the one to initiate a red light chat, but I really enjoy them.  People are almost always talking about something in a friendly way.  I think the majority of my chats at lights are giving people directions (inevitably to Fenway Park), so the ones that are different are little gems.

It’s true, there are a lot of bad car-bicycle interactions every day in this city, but that only makes me appreciate the pleasant ones all the more.

Keep up the good work, everyone!


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