He who angers you becomes your master.
A couple of things happened on my London commute yesterday that gave me at least brief pause for thought. I mentioned them to my son who did his CBT on Monday, as part of his education Just thought I'd pop them up here, albeit that they are far from earth-shattering.
1. Heading north over Westminster Bridge, I'm in the outside lane because I'll be turning right at Big Ben onto the Embankment. There's a bus just to my left that has its indicator on. I hang back to let him pull into my lane. He continues to indicate, but remains in his lane. I wait again. Ditto. By this time we're close to the junction & have come to a halt. I'm alongside. I try to signal to him that he has left his indicator on. He winds down his window. I'm anticipating either a puzzled question or some impolite words. He smiles and says, "I'm breaking down". Must have been hazards, then: something you don't tend to see on a bus that is still moving. Oh well.
2. On my way home. There seemed to be a bit of tension in the air. I wasn't sure how much was me and how much was everyone. (Was it a strike day?) Heading west along Stamford Street towards the iMax I have to stop for pedestrians who are crossing against the lights. A rider behind me repeatedly sounds his horn. I turn round angrily and issue an expletive. When we're through the junction he pulls alongside and says he's not happy I had a go at him, because he was sounding his horn at the pedestrians not me. I apologise for swearing at him. On reflection, and if we'd had more time, and I hadn't sworn, I might have made the points that (a) he was using his horn as a rebuke (b) he was using his horn while stationary (& not in an emergency) and (c) by using it behind me he was leading me to believe it was directed at me.
I've probably done all of those things myself. Now I've been on the receiving end I can see how potentially unhelpful they are.
3. Yes, I said a couple of things but the title referred to an extra thought Actually it's not really extra, it's an elaboration of the "tension in the air" comment under point 2. This is the thought that perhaps we should consider the prevailing driving mood, as it were, as a potential hazard in addition to the usual ones. We are probably all aware of the Friday night syndrome - everyone rushing to get home for the weekend. But to what extent do we reflect on how to deal with any extra risks that it presents, as opposed to just thinking "It's a jungle out there"? Conversely, if there's a vague sense that there's "something in the air", do we consider it might have a cause (eg strike day) and take extra care, or do we just allow ourselves to get as wound up as the rest of them?
He who angers you becomes your master.
I agree. The effect of consciousness on perception is something that is worth a serious examination in all aspects of life, not least when riding a motorbike.
Good point about 'tension in the air' though. I'm sure its actually down to pure chance but I notice some evenings filtering up the A33 from central Reading to JCT11 is a Moses job, other evenings I'm constantly seeing groups of cars all fighting for the same space, no one giving way to merging traffic let alone checking their mirrors before changing lanes. It really does make a difference to the commuting experience. The same is true on the M4 but its easier to keep your distance from the anger.
That's why a) always ignore bus drivers; they're wankers b) always ignore other motorcyclists; they're wankers.
Friday is work from home day. I recall noticing a significant difference in the Friday morning commute on the original introduction of the central London congestion charge, it seems that this was a trigger for flexible working to kick in.
Friday evenings however, are when everything goes wrong and you get 7 mile tailbacks on the M25.
Tension in the air, tingly spidey senses, feeling that something is going to happen before I even leave-yep listen to all of those. Only times I haven't something has happened.
I have considered maybe it's me. Got a bit of the flutters-perhaps me who not in the ideal frame of mind & then I make the error which precipitated something?
I don't swear at people though-not these days. Too many bampots about.
IME Friday is just a pants day from 11am onwards-anywhere. I try very hard not to travel after then. Sunday from about 1pm onwards is usually when I see the stupidest things.
Mood is less obvious when you are not riding daily. However, I know that in the Alps, the warm wind that sometimes blows which they call the Foehn (= hairdryer) makes people moody, irritable, erratic and liable to RTAs.
I think there is something in the air sometimes. On certain days coming into London its dog eat dog and on others, people seem remarkably courteous (usually when the sun is out). Friday evenings are terrible from 4pm onwards. Its a car park all the way from C London to Ruislip.
On other weekend evenings, I can get lucky and get all the way to Marylebone with hardly any filtering or stopping.