Hello from Kent!

Ben1982

New Member
'ello,

Think I've finally go enough notches on my belt from the range of incidents to class myself as a "true cyclist" now :evil:

Badgered work to sign up to the cyclescheme in Aug/Sept last year. Finally got a Giant Roam 2 in March this year, and did my first commute on the 26 March (~5.4 miles / ~42mins).

Back then I only took the road when I needed to ~1.5miles of country lane near work. And the rest I used the shared use paths.
As my confidence grew I started to take to using the roads more and more. And this month I started to use the busier roads to shorten the distance.
Nowadays it's about 4.8 miles to get in (~23 mins), and about 4.7 to get home (~19 mins).... (Aiming to try to bring the inbound one down more)
I'm using RunKeeper on my iPhone for timing/gps tracking.

Admittedly I haven't done a full week of cycling yet (usually nowadays it's because I've had a late night and not got up early enough!). But hopefully will do soon.

Incidents that put me in danger have mainly been few and far between, seeing about the primary/secondary positions quite early on helped almost instantly for close passes, but I still get them fairly close on the country lane stretch. I often get on a daily basis cars overtaking me giving me enough room, but generally when they really can't see far enough ahead (e.g. blind corner or brow of a hill).

Bigger/Interesting Incidents that I have had during my travels:
- Having a big white van pass me very closely at this pinch point, and then decide to stop the other side, and put his reversing lights on, forcing me across the road into oncoming traffic, and then he made a noise out of the window as I passed (I don't think he was saying anything, probably just to rattle me).
- Having a passenger of a private taxi stick their middle finger up at me out of the window as they passed. (I hadn't slowed them down at all - so was entirely uncalled for).
- On my way home from work (and then the following morning into work), having someone try to over (or under in the latter case)take me at a pinch point, and then them realising they were actually running out of road to squeeze in, and them having to yield (luckily in the latter case they did otherwise I would have been forced into oncoming traffic :tongue: )
- Today, had someone in a convertible BMV shout something at me as he passed - I was already in the middle of the road to prevent any overtakes down a highstreet, and stayed there to go past some parked cars.
- About 2 minutes after the above, I had a Merc driver almost left hook me (I've had cars overtake me and then turn left before but not enough to make me brake), this one I had to brake for - I did shout "oi", but I have no idea if they heard me. I was too shocked at the time to think about following them and having a word (generally I'm still not fit enough to catch up - although the road they went down did have speed humps so I may have had hope).

Been considering getting a helmet cam (probably a MD80 to start me off) to a) catch the plates of some of the bigger idiots (WVM and Merc), ;) help try to work out the best route for me in the mornings, and c) when I'm over in Sweden with my girlfriend to show what a different world they live in when it comes to cycling. :biggrin:

Ben
 

arallsopp

Post of The Year 2009 winner
Location
Bromley, Kent
Welcome. Extend your rides 20 odd miles North North West, and you can have all of the above on a daily basis ;)
 
OP
OP
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Ben1982

New Member
Ah Sittingbourne, have had a few times where I've thought to myself that one day I'll ride my bike to my grandparents who are on the Isle of Sheppey. Don't quite fancy the ~25miles each way just yet or the steeper hills, maybe one day I'll go crazy and do it :becool:
 
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