Thursday, 15 April 2010

What if?

Work is horrendously busy so my posts have been woefully late and rubbish, I apologise. Anyhoo.

This morning I was an awe-inspiring example of common sense, marred only by the fact it was prompted by someone else's silliness.

I came in early this morning so I was among unfamiliar cyclists. I was watching carefully as, I have learned, some cyclists are worth avoiding for various reasons. A lot of lorries seem to be coming along the Uxbridge Road of late and they also warrant attention.

One in particular was being a bit silly. A bit too close a bit too often. I decided to steer clear and let him get ahead of me rather than creep up the left. He was ahead of me when we hit a nasty junction. It's a two-laner. The left lane is for left-turns and those going straight ahead. The right lane is for those turning right.

People weave across the lanes and/or forget to indicate all the time so it's a junction I'll queue at rather than head for the advanced stop line a lot of the time.

Silly Lorry Man was ahead of me and, despite there being a cyclist waiting at the lights in the left-hand lane, he steamed right up to the stop line and sat looking menacing. Like this (lorry is blue, bike is pink):

My heart was in my mouth. The cyclist was a lady older than myself and looked sensible (I believe she was on a Brompton and had lights and all the kit etc), but I still worried. Perhaps she was turning left, but perhaps not. Maybe the lorry would go straight on..... What would happen?!

Then, as my fear reached its zenith, something very peculiar happened. The cyclist looked up at the lorry, saw there was no way of getting in front of it, got off her bike and lifted it onto the pavement. As she did this, the lights changed and the lorry, of course, turned left. The cyclist then walked her bike across the crossing and got back on the road as I swept by, having queued in the traffic behind.

I was mightily relieved and continued on my way, but I couldn't help thinking. What if?

What if she hadn't taken the initiative? What if that lorry had turned left as she'd gone straight on. What if I'd been behind a horrific accident?


  1. The Uxbridge Road is complete pants...far too many red lights (esp. Ealing and Acton) and too much traffic.
    Always feel like I have a grit or something in my mouth after spending so long behind buses and lorries.

    Ah well...thankfully it didn't turn into the situation the poor woman was in yesterday.

    What's your stance on riding with music in your ears? I see it so often (not that I would try far too scared). How can they hear anything?

    Hope you had a good day and got loads of work done. :)

  2. I did indeed.

    I used to wear headphones when I canal-commuted and would consider it if I was touring or somewhere without heavy traffic. I primarily did it to cut the noise of the wind.

    I decided it was too disorientating on the road and decided to wear a headband that cuts wind noise but allows me to hear the traffic instead.