Friendly Friday: Construction worker aids tired cyclist

As cyclists, it can be all too easy to focus on that one negative encounter on the roads.  Friendly Friday is a place to focus on a positive cycling story from the week.  Feel free to share your story directly in the comments or via link.

Relative to my norm lately, it was a pretty heavy cycling week (and light car week!), starting with the Bike Expo on Sunday, followed by cycling with Sir to a play date on Monday, and then cycling to meetings/appointments Tuesday through Thursday.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were lovely, but then temperatures and humidity levels began to rise.  By Wednesday evening, I was seriously questioning biking to my Thursday morning meeting, especially given my pseudo-excuse of needing to take the car that direction to pick up some bags of sand (something I could, possibly, accomplish with the bike trailer, but would be more easily accomplished with the car, given that eventually we’ll be driving the car by a suitable store anyway).

Thursday morning arrived, and I overcame the voices in my head that were complaining about the heat and sun and hopped on the bike.  The ride to the meeting wasn’t bad: pre-nine o’clock, decent little breeze, plenty of shady spots.

Heading home shortly after eleven was a different story.  Still not too bad, all things considered, but I was ready to be at home: out of the heat, humidity, and sun and enjoying some water, food, and non-sweaty clothing.

I was nearing what I consider the home stretch when I’m coming from the north, an intersection after which I’m just under a mile from home, with the remaining blocks a straight shot and literally [almost] all downhill.

It is a signalized intersection between the smaller street that I usually use and a four-lane arterial.  The signal for the smaller street can take quite awhile to change.

As I approached, I saw some construction workers and vehicles on the corners nearest me, putting finishing touches on some sidewalk improvements.  Unfortunately, this work involved using some kind of big circular saw on the corner nearest me, which was kicking up a ton of concrete dust (not really something I wanted to inhale) and making a lot of noise (and I, unlike the worker, did not have hearing protection).

To make matters worse, I had just missed my green light, meaning I would be stuck there for awhile — noise, dust, and no shade in sight — with home so close, yet so far away.

As I came to a stop, I further realized that the position of their trucks made it dangerous for me to be on the portion of the road where I would be able to trip the signal detectors.

With a very sad face, I hunkered down with a my fingers in my ears, preparing to be there for awhile.  Knowing that I would not be able to trip the signal, I considered taking advantage of Missouri’s “dead red” law, but parked cars made visibility too poor to tell if the road was clear to my left, although I could see that there was nothing but wide open road to my right.

Then I noticed one of the construction workers walking around his truck and into the street to my left.  He had noticed my sad plight and was motioning that the road to the left was clear and I could cross against the light.

After confirming that I was still clear to the right, I did just that, waving and mouthing “thank you” to my new friend.

His action was a small thing, but he definitely went out of his way to help me out of an unpleasant situation, and that brought a big smile to my face.

Happy Friday!

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