Monday, 24 August 2009

Thanks for making my point

S and I braved the roads again this morning for her second foray into work by bike. We had more traffic after an accident diverted lots of people our way but not as many roadworks so off we popped.

On the frequent traffic light stops I explained why I did certain things, like why I had taken the centre of the lane or why I was hanging back at a junction. At one point I did both.

It's a junction in Chiswick and the cycle lane forces you into the left-turn lane. As we were going straight on I took primary position so no one turning left would attempt to do so across my front wheel and I hung back as the cars in front of me were all intending to turn left. As I had no idea when the light had changed I decided we should play it safe as undertaking a queue of four cars that could turn left at any time is, in my experience, a bit of a silly idea.

S agreed and we took primary and waited for green. As we waited a woman came up the cycle lane and decided to try and get to the front of the queue I had assumed she was turning left but I was wrong. She was trying to go straight across. The light changed, she nearly hit the side of a car who hadn't seen her and had turned left across her (he WAS indicating) and the air was full of the screeching of brakes and swearing.

I don't know who that woman was but, if you're reading, thank you so much for making my point, but perhaps not so graphically next time....


  1. One of my most truly heart-stopping experiences was when I used to go through the heart of London, through Piccadilly Circus. I was sitting behind a left-turning bendy bus (about to do the sharp left from Piccadilly into Regent St.) The bus had swung out nice and wide to anticipate the turn, so there was lo-o-oads of room for a cyclist to get down the inside. Some nerk duly muscled past me, irritated at me sitting behind when there was so much room, and very very nearly got squashed as the diplodocus tail of the bus swung round. He managed to bunnyhop onto the smidgen of pavement between the road and the railings and cling on, but that was so very nearly very bad news.

  2. What a nobber. I'm mystified as to why people don't take a second to ask themselves why I'm doing something. I once swerved round an enormous pothole and the guy behind me tutted at my clumsy move before hitting the same hole head on because he hadn't been looking. If he'd wondered why I'd swerved he could have missed it. Sigh.