This Bogey’s All Over Me!
What’s the correct thing to do when a driver’s lack of care puts you in their sights? It’s hard to tell if it was out-and-out bullying, or just a crap driver with no appreciation of the fact that bikes do move faster than a walking pace.
This was on my way home from Newcastle this evening. I’d gone to the top of Byker to have a look at the new wheel for Daisy that the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative had ordered in for me (more on that later). The best bit about being at the top of Byker is that you get to take The Fossway down to Wallsend - it’s a long straight road with an easy gradient, and and usually a following wind. There are mini-roundabouts and a few traffic-lighted junctions, but they just add to the fun: keep your eyes open as you go through them, or if it’s not clear, take the opportunity to rest up.
Anyway, before you get onto that, there’s a slightly steeper hill to go down, with a slightly bigger roundabout. You’re going fast, so with The Look over your shoulder, you can pretty much guarantee that any traffic will hang back for a better place to pass.
Not this evening though.
I had a van overtake me through the roundabout:
It’s not really my idea of fun to take this roundabout with another vehicle turning right. To realise half way through (3) that he was going straight on, and that he was coming into my lane (4) to finish the move (5 & 6) was decidedly twitchy. It was a bit like being in some sort of surreal dog-fight, or flying in formation with a complete lunatic. It was the kind of move that feels fine in a go-kart, and looks fantastic in a motor race on TV, but is pretty alarming on two wheels when the other vehicle weighs a ton or so.
Naturally in this ‘race’ that I hadn’t even realised I’d entered, I yielded my position, with a dab on the brakes as the bike came upright between 4 & 5.
And riding Siegfried is obviously having an effect on me - when the van got stopped at the lights a hundred yards further down, I actually didn’t remonstrate with the driver, but just sailed past, catching the green perfectly, and then staying ahead of him for the 2 km.
Was this the right thing to do, or should I have taken the opportunity to enrol him on our Driver Re-Education Programme?