Most mornings I get the lift up to the 14th floor and the office on my own, but today I bumped into Tyrrell. With water still running off my jacket, he asked how the ride in had been. The answer was predictable really – wet.
Despite getting a good soaking, I went onto explain how it had all been made more interesting by some lack of lane discipline. At the end of Upper Brook Street, the road becomes three lanes wide at a set of lights. There’s the left lane which is left turn only into Grosvenor Street, there’s the centre lane that goes straight on(ish) and up onto the Mancunian Way towards Liverpool and there’s the right hand lane that goes straight on to the bends of fury.
The challenge from the previous set of lights is to get from the left hand lane, to the right hand lane in what is usually quite fast moving traffic. To the uninitiated it’s undoubtedly intimdating, but if you can maintain a fast pace you’re going the same speed as the traffic, so it’s no big deal – certainly no more risky than centre line riding. Anyway no problems with that today. Rocked up to the set of lights in the right hand lane to go straight on, a silver 3 series BMW comes up along side in the middle lane, lights change, off we go.
As you cross the junction the single right hand lane going straight on branches into dual carriageway after a section of hashed markings. So as you cross, you move over into the left hand lane of the road. Except today as I did this, I felt a waft of warm air on my left leg and looked down to see the front wing of the BMW. Quick glance over the shoulder, he backs off and then as he over takes me, gives me the stare. Gives me the stare? That’s right, it’s my fault you can’t drive isn’t it? Why all of a sudden are there lots of dickheads on the road? Am I becoming Samuri? Have a load of people from Leigh recently been employed in Manchester?
I don’t know what’s going on, after almost doing a Fingers Kershaw job on my left hand index finger on Sunday cleaning the commuter, it’s clear my mind is somewhere else. Yet the ride to work is usually done at a cracking pace where I’m busy focusing on the traffic, the timing of the various sets of lights and looking for potholes, so that there’s not much time for the mind to wander. Going to be extra vigilant from now on.