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February 4, 2014

I had a problem with a biker this morning.

Usually bikers and I do not have problems, I being pretty similar to what I have observed to be the driving norm for about 53% of the rest of Portland motorists. I see a biker, I hold my breath, I give them about three car spaces when I finally pass them at a roaring 25mph. Then I exhale. This is my general experience with bikers.

Today I was turning onto the construction ridden roadway that houses my parking garage and a biker slid up from behind, stationed himself in a position optimal for orbiting my passenger side headlight if a need suddenly arose, and made a hand signal at me.

Hand signal, went the biker.

Oh crap, went my brain, which one is that? because in my absolutely unqualified opinion, (I have never ridden a bike on an actual roadway since childhood and one time in San Francisco right after I got there and was the most severely horribly lost of all my horribly lostness there, and a trucker almost ran me over, I am certain that I am not the biking hand signal expert here), these hand signals never look the same from one biker to the next and in most cases it looks more like they’re flinging something anyway. Is that…a booger? Are they just flinging a booger? Or am I supposed to stop right here right now because they want to go left; or maybe the more practical thing would be to speed up right here right now so they can cut behind? But also their hand flang to the right a little bit. Maybe I am supposed to keep going and he’s just letting me know…? It seems like a very definite hand gesture to just be letting me know.

Garg.

All this to say that I did not understand a biker today and he made a disgusted face at me and then I felt stupid. I guess it is maybe time to get the urban dictionary’s chart of hand signs bikers make (dear god let that be a thing) and tape it to my dashboard.

I am

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