I am a good cyclist, in fact I would go as far as saying very good. I train hard, I spend hours in the saddle every week, have read Cyclecraft and various other training and maintainance manuals. I work hard to claim my place as a valid road user, and have adjusted my reactionary behaviour to be more reasoned in the case of poor drivers - hoping that I can make them think about what they did next time they approach a cyclist. I respond to others who are more experienced than me and who can teach me. Today however, I was no better than an impatient driver of the kind I faced today. I put people in direct danger through my actions. Riding back into town I was using a busy but wide A-road, holding a strong primary position and 59km/h (36mph) descending the long hill. Five cars shouldered past me so close that I could have reached out and touched them. Then a van did the same but shouted at me to move over as he went past. Bearing in mind this road is subject to a 40mph limit, I was pretty close to it. I moved further out in the lane to protect myself from more idiots squeezing past against the oncoming flow of traffic. So the guy starts leaning on his horn, and when that does no good comes inches from my rear wheel and keeps slipping the clutch to rev his engine at me. By now I was not in a brilliant mood, and refused to give any ground to him. A gap opened up and he pulled next to me, gave a little swerve and shouted something (probably about me needing to ride in the gutter). I turned the air pretty blue in response. At the bottom of the hill, just after the road flattens out there is a ped crossing, controlled by lights, followed by a diverging of the lanes and more lights. Matey-boy who screamed at me was stuck in that queue. I was fired up and was going to give him a serious talking to whilst he was trapped in the jam, if he took issue with it, he could eat pavement as far as I was concerned. The ped lights changed, and I thought "F**k that, I'm close, I'm not letting that guy get away." Then as people began to walk across a boy of about 6-8 or so ran ahead of the crowd. I sh@t myself and went into a full on emergency stop and everything went slow motion. I was on a line that was taking me diagonally to the right, basically an intercept course for this kid as he was running L->R. I knew I would hit him if I didn't do something, but was braking so hard my back wheel was skipping. I let go of the brakes, shouted "BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE" as loud as possible, to make the peds freeze (its a tried and tested method for peds stepping into the road without looking), pulled the bike in left to cut behind the boy, avoiding him. I didn't hit the kid, but I clipped a ped with my left arm, really hard. I nearly lost control but got back on the brakes and stopped. The gent was lying in the road, just sitting up as I went back. A few peds tutted at me and one younger man stopped to help the gent back to his feet after he had brushed my hand away. I tried to stammer out an apology, but he took charge and told me to get onto the pavement. He then proceeded to give me a very lengthy and heated telling off, in a very dignified and fatherly way. I could do noting but stammer out "I'm so sorry" over and over like a robot. What else could I say? What I did was indefensible. I have written this because I am truly very sorry for this stupid act, and though he will not see this, what I say next still counts. I let anger affect my riding, and by doing that I endangered both the people around me and myself. I feel sick now thinking about what might of happened to the little boy if I had hit him, or the gent if I had hit him square on instead of just clipping him. Looking at the time now, and that this is keeping me awake, I am going to have a rubbish day tomorrow starting in 3 hours time when I get up. A day I fully deserve. I am never again going to allow anger to take charge of my riding.