As I was driving on the Pin Klao-Nakhon Chaisi road early on Oct 20, something surprised me.
It wasn't a nice surprise. As you may know, there are hardly any nice surprises on Bangkok's roads.
Up on the elevated Boromratchonnanee Road which I was supposed to drive up, there was an unusual sight _ a number of cyclists pedalling along the inbound stretch which was entirely closed to traffic.
Before I knew it, I had joined other motorists who were stuck in a traffic jam on the road.
Like me, most _ if not all _ the motorists had no prior warning of this. There were no signs along the way that would alert motorists so they could change their route.
Like me, other drivers were frustrated while watching cyclists enjoy their ride, showing their two-wheel prowess, under the warm morning sun while everyone else struggled with the bad traffic.
At the bottom of the ramp, I spotted a police officer on his motorcycle. His face was emotionless.
He did not try to be helpful by directing traffic as motorists headed up the congested road. So, another human ''Ja Choey'' _ Sgt Indifferent.
I learned later that it was an event to promote city cycling, held by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Dtac (I also heard that the two agencies are ambitious enough to run it on a monthly basis).
The route stretched from the BMA office on Din So Road to the end of the elevated road in the Phutthamonthon Sai 3 area.
Don't get me wrong, I am not against cycling. Despite disapproving frowns from my family and some of my friends who are concerned for my safety, I sometimes get about town on a bike (I have also found a lot needs to be done if we are to become a bike-friendly city. But that's not the issue here).
Actually, I don't really mind if the BMA or other organisers want to hold such an event more often in the city. Every Saturday or Sunday is fine. This includes marathons, walkathons and so forth.
But they must at least do it in a civilised way _ informing those who stand to be affected so they know what to do.
A good example was Car-Free Day last month. Even though many roads were closed for this special day, traffic was relatively smooth across the city. And it's all because the organisers, the BMA included, alerted road users with clear signs and through the media about what to expect.
I believe motorists will be cooperative if they know in advance.
Putting up signs or banners in the city _ on the pavements, or on flyovers _ should be no problem for the BMA, an agency with full jurisdiction over every square inch of Bangkok.
It has district offices to carry out its work. Other agencies do not have such privileges, so there is no excuse for the BMA to fail to do so.
Actually, it is not an exaggeration to say that Thailand has no ''sign culture''.
It's rare not to see any signs at all. When agencies are considerate enough to alert road users with a sign, they often display signs in a way that is really not helpful.
How often do you encounter a ''road works ahead, please drive carefully'' sign next to the spot where repairs are taking place? By the time you spot the sign, you are trying to change lanes with difficulty.
And it's the same mentality for those working in utility agencies such as the waterworks or electricity. Maybe they think it doesn't matter. But it really does.
How about thinking of a more sensible way to display signs so road users can avoid trouble? It helps reduce the possibility of road accidents.
Back to the bike event, I heard that the next one is likely to take place this Sunday (no confirmation whatsoever), and also on the third Sunday of next month.
If that's true, I hope the BMA can show us that they are a responsible agency.
Ploenpote Atthakor is deputy editorial pages editor, Bangkok Post.