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  • Waiting for a ride

Tuesday, July 20 You get what you pay for

A cold and windy 50-degree morning in Vallejo. Many cars and a few riders. I don’t know if my fellow riders are dazed or just rude. As I walk up to where the line begins several riders just walk right past me, getting into the cars that are lined up. I and the fellow right behind me look at each other and shrug. “Anarchy in the carpool line,” I say and we both laugh and get into a shiny new Toyota Corolla. Cozy warm inside and the lady driver gives us a pleasant greeting. We each give her $1. “We need the money for safe bridges,” she says. “Well, that’s the party line,” I comment. “I’d like to see the budgets for those safe bridges and over-runs.” No comment from either of my companions. Okay.

Off we go and this mild, very suburban and mellow looking plump lady hits the freeway at 70 plus mph! She’s driving like a maniac. As we hurtle down the 80 Freeway a small truck pulls out in front of us to join the carpool lane. The driver does not slow down until I gasp and then she tailgates the guy. Near Berkeley all the lanes are full and moving at about 45 mph, and I can breathe easier.

There are a number of stories carpoolers tell about drivers they wish they’d never been in a car with – check out ridenow.org, a great site that gives good information on car pooling in the bay area and has a great message board with listings of dangerous drivers, including car descriptions and license plate numbers. Our lady today should certainly be on that list. Unfortunately, when I’m in a hurry in the morning, and waiting in the carpool line, I just don’t pay attention to people’s license numbers, and even though I describe drivers and their cars in this blog, I seldom recognize anyone I’ve ever ridden with. Well, there are a few that stand out in my mind.

I like this quote from an unknown author: “It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road.” Avoid the nuts. Pay your toll, cross your fingers and be nice. CG

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