A salutary tale

I have developed a coping strategy for my cycling... well for the times when I feel danger has been inflicted upon me, for want of a better expression.

My normal experiences of this are depressingly abusive towards myself - for example recently I was cut up by a driver, quite badly as she turned left despite my loud proclamation, "Please do not cut me up!" an don drawing level with her at the traffic lights she discarded a fag butt in my general direction and told me to "F**K Off" before I could even ask if she knew she had cut me up (obviously it was intentional). I was left feeling shitty despite my best efforts to drop her aura of shittiness all over me.....

But then a couple of days ago things turned out with a most expected outcome... I was travelling up the first hill on my commute and a car seemed to whizz by about 18 inches off my elbow, which is enough to get my ire up... I managed to get a wriggle on and catch him in a queue of traffic on the other side of the hill... at first the driver appeared to be your usual, and showed no signs of hearing my complaint of less than three feet clearance on overtaking. Things seemed promising when he volunteered to pull over to discuss. We continued to dispute reasonably and I thanked him for taking the time to pull over. Not long after that he said "You don't know who I am do you?" and proceeded to reveal he was manager of Herne Hill Velodrome! He explained an oncoming car had been signalling left and then come straight on, combined with my perhaps not "keeping my line" and he had thought I was downshifting with my bike being a tourer etc. My mind was already thrown into turmoil and I sort of almost offered a salute.

He asked if I had taken part in the recent "night ride" and I said not this year, but did it last year on our tandem. Before long we were comparing tandem tales, it turned out he once managed a 30 miles in a sub hour time and held a record on a day when that particular record was broken six times! Sadly his wife sold the tandem after apparently throwing up behind him, which I can imagine would be a pretty off-putting experience all round.

But the tale is salutary in more ways than my involuntary salute I think... Given we one day hope to plan a tandem club ride involving a Velodrome stop for the café I am sure this could actually be the first time a positive new contact has been made in such apparently adverse circumstances.

08:49 AM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,