A bit of defensive cycling...

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Pete, 2 Nov 2007.

  1. Pete

    Pete Guest

    ...quite possibly saved me from injury, or worse, today.

    I've often commented on the fact that not many 'incidents' happen to me, must be the sheltered life I lead or possibly the absence of lycra or helmet in my normal attire...

    Ah, well, something like this was bound to happen one day.

    There I am, cruising along at modest speed towards a side road on my left. I can see an elderly, beatup old beemer coming up from the left, towards the junction. Something in me, sixth sense or whatever, tells me there's something wrong here, it's coming too fast, it's not going to stop even at the GIVE WAY lines (in my favour). I cannot explain how, it's just a feeling I had.

    So I ease off speed and cover both brakes. And boy! do I need to! Car slews straight out of the junction without stopping, straight into the place I would have been if I kept going - turns left and shoots off in the same direction I'm going. I get a good view of the driver during this little manoeuvre. Youngish woman, straight black hair, finely chiselled features - in profile. Because in profile is all I get to see of her face, her eyes looking fixedly ahead all the time, not a sign of so much as a glance to right or left.

    So what do I do? I have a clear view of the numberplate, make and colour of car. I really should have noted it all down, visibly and obviously and in the sight of the driver, and then set about to shop her. A driver like that is a menace to all road users, next time she may kill. Instead, all that I do is yell as loud as I can, including every word beginning with 'C' and 'F' that I can think of (to the dismay of bystanders) and gesticulate wildly and conspicuously.

    But what's the use? All that effing and blinding merely debased myself, and achieved nothing. Fair enough to say this is a one-off, most drivers are more attentive than this, hopefully she heard and saw some of my reaction...? Is it on my conscience if she went on to have the accident waiting for her? I anticipated in time and wasn't hurt as a result. But someone else?
  2. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    carry a pen a paper in your pocket and write down the number, time, location and draw a diagram of the incident. This is what the police asked me for yesterday on the accident report sheet.
  3. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Sorry to hear it, I had blazing row with a taxi driver in York once that I wish I'd reported. There are the odd incident that probably should be reported.
  4. Membrane

    Membrane New Member

    FWIW, I always cover my brakes and devise an emergency brake action if there is a car on a road to the left in anticipation of them pulling out. They don't have to be moving to do that, there are some who think they have the right of way over bicycles. And I never watch the driver, I watch the front wheel instead, much easier to judge movement.

    Consider also that a driver can stare you straight in the face and not notice you, this is a well known phenomena that happens to cyclists and motorcyclists. This is thought to be caused by people looking out for cars, and smaller objects can then be completely unnoticed whilst they are staring right at you.
  5. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Nice one Pete, glad you anticipated that one so well!
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