cycling, a battle on many fronts

One of those mornings when I arrive at work a little more stressed than usual because of the stupid behaviour of other road users:

  1. (and a pet hate of mine) as I approach an intersection, I am passed in the last few metres by a black commodore with tinted windows, who immediately cuts in front of me to turn left. Nowhere to go, I let him know what he did, but he is predictably arrogant and stupid and tells me to get a licence… hmm NFI.
  2. trying to enjoy a beautiful morning (and forget indicent 1), when a loud shout comes from close behind. I recognised it as a warning that a faster cyclist was coming, so I didn’t react, but 20 metres further on when we were all at a traffic light, another cyclist tackled the shouter – ‘you frightened the shit out of me’. No apologies from the arrogant one. In context, this is a heavily used on-road bicycle path with cars parked on the left (which you need to give a wide berth!), if faster cyclists find the cycle lane too crowded, there’s usually plenty of room in the car lane to go around – no need to bully commuters for space. Not only that, but in this case we were approaching a red light – how far did he think he was going to get? – just arrogant!
  3. Just a little further down the road I’m gaining speed after an intersection when a cyclist passes me so fast and close that I feel the breeze on my arm. Again, it’s not like there’s any lack of room. I reflected that this was no different – and hardly any less likely to cause injury – than the ute which buzzed me last week. All it would take is a flick of the handlebars and I’d be down.

So, while it’s fashionable to frame conflict on the roads as car vs. bike, the truth is much less defined. Arrogance and impatience can be found in a truck, a car, or on a bike.

In fact, if I had to draw a common factor to all three incidents, it would be the level of obsession with equipment and matching colours! Yep, the vacant blockhead in the doted-on black commodore was not so different from the two carbon mounted, matching lycra clad bike lane speedsters. Take a moment to consider people around you guys!