I’m peddling down a country road on my red Schwinn, cruising in an imaginary bike lane, careful not to stray into that portion of the road that belongs to cars. There are two kinds of drivers who pass me. One, confident, steady-as-they-go types (usually guys between their 20s and 50s) who come within, say, three or four feet of my “bike lane.” Which is no biggie because they know how to drive, etc. And two, middle-aged and older women who veer a good 10 to 12 feet to the left, going almost entirely into the opposing-traffic lane because they’re so fearful of the possibility of clipping me.

We can’t all be Mario Andretti or Paul Newman — I get that — but whenever one of these nervous nellies swerves to the left as if they’re avoiding a dead moose in the road, I can’t help but regard them with a dismissive head-shake.