So, you're cycling along, and this happens

Imagine, if you will, that you have a substantial distance to cycle every day. You're obviously going to get all manner of stupid drivers about on the road, but I have a couple things that really annoy me...

First, the worst one: I'm cycling along, and someone's following me an inch-and-a-half from my rear wheel. Fine. It's the way it goes, I assure you that you get used to it.

So you travel 6, 8, hundred yards, maybe a thousand, with this person worrying you vaguely. As a driver [which I am], I can honestly say that I would have overtaken the cyclist ages ago, if we'd been in the same situation but him on the bike and me behind the wheel.

At given_point_X, they rev the engine and speed past. I've seen no difference between the point 200 yards ago, and the point now, except maybe there's a different shop by the side of the road or something.

You see, I'd always assume that this is because they wanted to overtake me or something. No. It's because they're either:

  1. Turning Left
  2. Parking

For all the americans reading this, remember we drive on the other side of the road

Now, you'd think "hey, it's the way it goes", except that they're turning left or parking soon. As in, ten yards in front of me. I'm doing 25 miles an hour, and some stupid bastard grinds to a halt in front of me. There are three things that might get written off, now:

  1. My Bike
  2. Me
  3. The panelling on the side of their car, and perhaps the odd window

Does it take some kind of moron? I don't get it.

I have a solution, though. It doesn't stop it happening the first time, but it does stop a repeat performance.

You see, as you're then cycling past, slap a random panel on their car really really hard with the flat of your arm between your wrist and elbow. You know the bit I mean. If it's a panel near the back, it's harder for them to see, and they don't get as much warning.

For all the world, it sounds like you've just put the mother of all {holes, dents} in the side of their car, wheras in fact you've done nothing at all. Note: Do not damage the car in any way. Then _you_ will be out of pocket the cost of as new panel.

If you're reading this, and a guy with a Red & White Specialised has ever done that done that to you, It was probably me, and I do not apologise in the slightest. You put the shits up me, I think it's only fair that I should be allowed to do the same.

Since I said earlier that there are a couple of things that annoy me, here's another: I'm cycling along homewards at night. I live along a 2 mile stretch of road with no streetlamps. When it's dark, it's _really_ dark.

So, say for the sake of argument my eyes had adjusted to the dark conditions [with my headlamp, of course, but still...]. Now, some guy in his [or her... I'm quite happy to believe women are just as dangerous as men as drivers] car is going along with full beam headlamps. Do they dip their beams? Do they fuck.

I'd like to clarify: I wear a baseball cap while I'm cycling, because that way I can block the beams with something. If I didn't, what you'd have would be a blinded cyclist cycling randomly about on the road straight in front of you. Oh, sorry. I neglected to mention. This road is the "national speed limit" and only one lane each way. Anyone driving along this road is usually doing on the order of 80 miles an hour. I'm doing 25 or so. A head-on collision will reduce me and my bike to a small wreck, and make a helluva mess of your bodywork. If I'm blinded and cycling randomly, the odds are really quite good that I'll end up on your side of the road. You do the math.

Finally, there's one other thing, but since it's never happened to me, I'll merely link to another site: Door Prize. And yes. I still think JWZ is as self-righteous as it comes, but he's got a pretty good point.

Gary (-;

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This page last modified: 2003-06-26