Yesterday was the first ride home of the year with lights. Last night I decided that the commuter (aka the bike that tried to kill me) needed to be resurrected so swapped some pedals over to it from the cross bike (I will need to drill the locknut off the remnant of the spindle to reuse the old pedal body – the lovely people at 2pure have sent some replacement spindles) and fixed the double snakebite in the rear wheel with a new tube. Dug out the winter lights and mounted them on the frame and pretty much ready to go.
Of course this morning as I actually ride it I remember all the little irritating things that need to be done and I’d forgotten about, like the worn out bottom bracket whih means the left leg’s turning a bigger circle that the right leg, which is irritatingly noticeable on the downstroke. The other is the fact that in the crash I managed to twist the seatpost, so now the saddle’s not pointing straight. Still the bike feels properly fast and I buzz along.
All goes fine until the bends of fury where there is another case of piss poor lane discipline when a woman in a Black Golf FSI tries to put me into the kerb. I hold my ground and despite being along side her peering into the window to try and get her attention she nor her passenger see me. As we wait at the lights so I give a polite knock on the window to remind her that I’m there. Shortly after that as I follow the traffic, matching the speed of the cars in front, I’m hooted at from behind.
I’m not sure what the person behind me expected me to do, possibly move to the side so that they could over take. I saw no point doing that because I was going as fast as everything else and I’m not going to be made to eat the kerb again… so I just reached around and gave the old two finger salute. This prompted more hoot-a-tooting and as we rounded the next bend and the road widened into two lanes on the one way street I pulled out, eased off and came along side the car.
The driver of what turned out to be a silver Astra gave me the evils, so I shook my fist at him in a menacing manner and ranted, at some volume in my best Ray Winstone Cockney accent: “You f***** c***! What’s your f****** problem? Stop your f****** car and I’ll bloody ‘ave you, you c***!” Which didn’t really help placate the situation, rather it seemed to piss him off even more leading to much engine revving and a woefully poor attempt to cut me up. His spineless “You little…” comment as he drove off didn’t really seem to carry much weight.
I accept that there’s two sides to all such things, but when you’re all worked up from what’s effectively a sprint to work, dickhead motorists are never likely to be on the receiving end of a carefully crafted and eloquent critique of their driving skills…
Just thought I should add a few comments to say that this is all very out of character, I usually go months without any problems, but recently there does seem to have been a spate of people driving to kill me. I have to write up stuff like this or Iâ€™d forget about it!Â The most annoying thing is that certain people seem to think that because theyâ€™re in a car and Iâ€™m on a bike they should have more right of way than meâ€¦
This is a theory that wonâ€™t get much truck from me. I donâ€™t go looking for trouble, but I will hold my position in traffic because I donâ€™t want to end up eating the kerb or getting stuck under a lorry (lost a friend that way). If the traffic around me is moving faster than me then I will pull to the side and let it pass, but if I am traveling at the same speed I will ride in the centre of the lane so: no idiot can cut me up (been there too many times); I am more visible; and have more room for manoeuvre.