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Why I am a to$$er of the highest order

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Jacomus-rides-Gen, 7 Sep 2007.

  1. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    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.
     
  2. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    Respect, Mr Jacomus.
     
    Banjo likes this.
  3. Paulus

    Paulus Getting older by the minute

    Location:
    Barnet,
    I wouldn't quite agree with the title of your post, but you did lose control of the situation and your emotions. As a seasoned cyclist over many decades I have learnt to keep calm even when events seem to be getting on top of me. You already know the consequences of what happened and that you may of allianated another Ped against cyclists in general. But, because there are many stupid people around you should try to rise above them. Good luck in the future.
     
  4. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    a very honest account. a refreshing change from the holier-than-thou attitudes that you find here from time to time.

    learn from it (and looks like you have), and move on.:biggrin:
     
    Banjo likes this.
  5. As Alex says.

    I do object to the 'two wheels good, four wheels bad' mentality that we sometimes see on cycling forums (C+ was worse than here is)

    The van driver, etc were in the wrong, and stupid, and dangerous.

    So were you - and in the past so have I been, I've done things on a bike which were wrong, and stupid, and dangerous.
    And I've done them in the car too, and when on foot.

    Most cyclists are motorists too. And pedestrians as well.
    Some ride horses, ride motorbikes, etc.
    No group is always in the right and the others in the wrong.
     
    dave r likes this.
  6. Oh yes, and I wouldn't say you were a to$$er.

    A to$$er would think that they hadn't done anything wrong, it was all someone else's fault, not analyse it and learn something from it.

    The drivers you mention are to$$ers, you're being far too hard on yourself.
     
  7. boleary

    boleary New Member

    Your very detailed account of the situation is full of remorse. Try and learn from what happened and move on. I've done things on the bike over the years that I'm not proud of. Once that andreneline is pumping in your veins all rational thought goes awol.
     
    dave r likes this.
  8. col

    col Veteran

    You made a mistake,happily it turned out well,but dont beat yourself up about it,i know the "what if" thing will run over in your mind,but we all make mistakes.just the fact you wrote it on here,and the way your feeling,shows me that your a decent bloke,things could have been worse,but they were not,no one intentionally goes out to run into someone,thats why they are called accidents.The best thing i can think of,is whats already been said,we learn from our mistakes.
     
  9. Will1985

    Will1985 Über Member

    Location:
    South Norfolk
    I think you did the right thing by easing your burden on us. Furthermore you stopped and went back which I doubt some drivers would do (and kids on BMXs from experience) which shows you are really a good chap.

    I used to have massive problems with WVM and buses in Birmingham when doing bang on the speed limit and like you taking the central position. I just ignore it and keep going - Mr Fat WVM is only going to raise his blood pressure even more by being aggressive, while I was only ensuring my own safety. If he hits you, he is the one going to end up in trouble with his boss once reported.

    Having said that, I too did occasionally give chase and smugly ride past the aggravated driver sitting in the queue!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    Thanks everyone, you have all been very kind.

    As you say - it is something that happened, and something I shall learn from. I chose (after some deliberation) to post it, because I care a lot about being a good cyclist, and being seen as such.

    This was a way for me to admit what I had done, and what I was taking from it.

    Thanks guys :blush:
     
  11. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    Respect Jacomus, you're no tosser at all. You made a mistake, you questioned your own actions, and you've learned from it. That's awesome dude.
     
  12. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Jaco - come on all you did was let out some anger and I'll put my life on the line and say that a car driver has done a whole lot worse..without even a hint of remorse..ok hitting someone aint great but the bloke got up - you never hit the kid: even if you would have caused utter carnage and lets say I feel that a car driver could causer a lot bloody worse than one cyclist ! ! !

    Ok, it was wrong what you did but what does a car driver usually say "oh, never seen you mate" !

    You were very real and maybe even too honest..like your sorry and you made the man topple over - why wasnt he checking out the road I know that when I cross the road ped. crossing or not I still look, even when the lights are on red I still check the junction out when cycling !

    Jaco' your an honourable lad who's feeling the vibe of honesty...

    Good to you but lets not forget what got you to that point some dick who thinks the god dam road is simply for him and no-one else ! Just like the rest of the ****ers out there who drive cars even thoght they are sitting on there backsides being lazy twats who are gonna die early cause they simply CANNOT be a r s e d.

    Ok it was wrong to react in the way you did BUT your a cyclist dammit - someone who's totally at odds with the elements AND the other casque driven idiots...

    The cyclist is THE best navigator of the roads and to react is natural...holding it in is VERY hard...

    Thats life.
     
    Banjo likes this.
  13. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Don't beat yourself up too much over this, it's obvious you are a caring cyclist otherwise you wouldn't have posted this and been upset by what has happened. That you were prevoked is also obvious and I doubt there are any of us who have not 'lost it' at sometime or other. To learn from it is the most important conclusion for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Banjo likes this.
  14. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    Good post Jacomus.. As Keith says, who hasn't been there? Even though they may have escaped the consequences ..