I was cycling to the station this morning and it was much colder than it has been any morning this year. I could see numerous drivers de-misting their cars whilst also being overtaken by some who had dubious visibility. As I was approaching the mini-roundabout where I come off the main road, I could hear a car coming fast behind me. The main road I cycle down had lots of traffic islands in the road so I always listen out to the speed of cars because they have a bad habit of cutting me up at the aforementioned islands.
Anyhow, I was only metres from the island and the car didn’t sound to be slowing down. But I held my line about 1.5m from the kerb because sometimes cars go through on the other side of the road. However…I glanced to my right about 5m from the island to see a Ford Ka which was over-taking at speed but not on the opposite carriage. As I was mentally preparing to leap from my bike, the driver smashed their right front bumper in to the traffic island cone thingy. Debris flew everywhere and the light cover ‘thingy’ flew on to the opposite carriage way!
I negotiated the debris whilst breathing a sigh of relief I had escaped unscathed. The driver had just continued on only to pull off at my turning on the mini roundabout. As I cycled past (staring of course!) a young girl had got out of the car as said under her breath “Oh f**k”. Damn right! Judge me if you will but I had a little chuckle at this point whilst also thanking my lucky stars it wasn’t me she clobbered. On the cycle home I checked out the dent in the ‘thingy’ and it was pretty bashed-up. I think I would have looked worse.
It got me thinking through the day – people really don’t pay attention. That road is busy, full of islands and used regularly by cyclists. It was not dark and it was not raining or windy. There really was no excuse for what happened and it could have been much worse. Quite frankly, the girl was lucky no-one was hurt. It was a clear reminder to me that when driving, you are not only responsible for the safety of yourself and your passengers, but every other driver on the road. Sadly, I think fewer and fewer people give this even a second thought. Of course we shouldn’t all live in fear of terrible things happening but it only takes a second to cause a lot of damage.
Anyway, I don’t want to preach but I shall be even more wary when cycling in the morning now. I also hope that the female driver from this morning takes something from what happened apart from just the cost of fixing her car. The realist in me doubts it.