Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wind glorious wind and playing with lorries

No not farting, but the weather phenomenon that causes cyclists everywhere to wince or rejoice depending on the direction in which it's blowing. I was wincing.

It came head on for some of the journey and, although annoying I didn't get too het up. I changed down a gear and put my head down. It was when I went past open ground that it became a problem.

On city roads with high buildings it's easy to forget the waves of air that roll across you and attempt to turn your bike into the side of that attractive looking lorry. Going past Ealing Common was very exciting for all the wrong reasons as I gripped Reg's handlebars, slowed down and wrested him back under my control. It was for this reason that I didn't really take much note of my fellow commuters, until Acton that is.

A very large lorry was in front of me and I decided to stay far back. The junction in question has a possible left turn and people often don't indicate until the last minute or at all because of the filtering lanes. Plus my view of the traffic lights was blocked by said lorry so I couldn't gauge the speed of traffic and predict it's movements. I sat behind basking in the warm and comforting swirl of exhaust.

A middle/older aged lady came past on her shopper. She then went up the left side of the enormous lorry binging as she went. Binging that was barely audible above the heavy thrum of the lorry's engine, certainly not audible to its driver. I looked on in abject horror fearing imminent squishage. I reasoned with myself, perhaps she was going left, that would be ok, especially as the lorry was now indicating left. I actually held my breath.

The lights changed and the lorry turned left I looked ahead and was incredulous to see lady binger straight ahead. She had undertaken a left-turning huge lorry in its blind spot and wasn't even going left. I said nothing as I overtook her. My feeling wasn't anger it was immense relief on the lorry driver's behalf.

That lorry would have squished her without the driver even feeling a bump. He would've lived with that forever even though he probably couldn't have done anything to prevent it if she'd been in a blind spot.


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