After all these years of riding I’ve become fairly hardened to bad driving. If you didn’t, you simply wouldn’t go out, but this week has been particularly poor, even by today’s deplorably low standards.
If you ride alone you’re likely to suffer from what I’m now calling ‘the ripple effect’. It goes like this: speeding driver encounters a bunch of cyclists, doesn’t slow down at all, swerves around the group crossing the white line, nearly clipping the poor rider pottering along in the opposite direction.
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When I’ve managed to confront these lunatic drivers their logic is “it’s better to miss the larger group and only risk hitting the single rider”! Slow down, don’t overtake until it’s safe, even stop, these would be better options. You’ll be lucky — it doesn’t even enter their warped mindset.
That was my riding experience at the weekend, but then I witness more madness while driving to work today. I’m two cars back behind a rider managing 35mph in a 30mph zone. The motorist in front is pretty twitchy behind the rider despite the high speed.
There’s stationary traffic just ahead but there’s no stopping this nutter. He pulls around the cyclist but has to cut in too quickly causing the rider to slam on his brakes and the driver’s going so fast he only just manages to stop before crashing into the stationary traffic.
The cyclist just rides on shaking his head.
Rober Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly