Did you know that walking down the road can be an interesting study of people?
I'm enjoying walking the dog. We now go 2.5 miles a day. That's the whole road. I have also, many a time, walked my horse up and down the road for fun. I've also ridden my horse on the road, but I really don't like doing that, I'm not as brave (stupid?) as I was in the olden days when I used to ride Thunder on the road all the time.
Anyway... I wave at everybody who drives past. If I know them they get a big enthusiastic wave, otherwise I sort of just lift my hand and acknowledge them, sort of a "I see you there in your car, and thanks for not running me over." I figure it's the neighborly thing to do, right? Oh, let me clarify that I generally only wave at cars that are coming toward me. I ignore those that come up from behind, it's not like they need to change lanes to pass me. If the driver knows me then they wave and I wave back, it's all good.
It's a rural-ish road that I live on. I mean, it's not one of the busiest roads in this town, but it's also not devoid of cars. It's a through road that comes off the main road, so it gets its share of people passing through. It's two lanes. No bike lane, and for the most part no shoulder. Seriously, there's the white line, and then a few inches of pavement, a few inches of gravel, and then a big ditch. So a person could theoretically walk on the "shoulder" (outside the white line) but a person and a dog cannot both fit there. Angus the dog usually walks on the white line, and I'm on the road. It's not like I take up much of the road. And hey, it's the country. And hey, we're entitled to walk there.
Now, I am careful not to inconvenience drivers. On rare times when two cars are coming from opposite directions and will pass me at approximately the same time, I get off the road as much as possible. The ditch isn't really practical, so at worst I'll have Angus sit on the "shoulder" and I'll stand next to him, both of us technically off the road. Then the cars don't have to worry so much about running me over. And I always try to get onto the shoulder as much as possible when someone is driving toward me.
But the people are interesting. They seem to fall into these categories, and this is in order of frequency I think:
1) people who slow down a tiny bit, get at least most of the way into the other lane, but give only a tiny "who the hell is that" wave in my direction. They seem confused by my presence, and in a hurry to be somewhere, and they don't smile.
2) people who slow down noticeably, get at least most of the way into the other lane, smile and wave enthusiastically. Sometimes they know me, sometimes they don't.
3) people who don't slow down, do get all the way into the other lane, and don't acknowledge me at all. Often they are on cell phones.
4) people who slow down to a crawl, get way way way over in the other lane, and give me this stupefied expression as though I might jump out into the road and get them. (rawr, yeah, I'm like that). They wave timidly.
5) people who move over at most half a lane, don't slow down, and don't acknowledge. Literally, I could reach out and touch these cars, and I hate these people. There is a whole freakin' other lane wide open, and they barely get over. Without fail, these are young men. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all the young men drivers do this, just that the only drivers who do happen to fall into that category. It's all I can do not to flip these people off, and I'm sooooo tempted to carry something like a riding crop and smack the cars as they go past, just something to make a noise but not do any damage. Ugh, these ones really get to me!