Archive of November 2014

November 30
05:53 PM | 0 Comments
November 11

An open letter

Dear Mr [removed] Many thanks for your cheque which I received on Friday. I am even more grateful that you were considerate enough to enclose a return address for me to reply to. I expect you remember that at the scene when you asked what you could do my first request was that you take all possible precautions to prevent any recurrence of such an accident. I was very appreciative that you took the time to pull over and paid attention to what I had to say. Having both had time to recover from an accident that likely left you and I both slightly shaken up I guess we can look back at it to try and analyse what might have happened. I am not sure off you recollect my being ahead of you at the traffic lights? Trust me that this is the case, and that I make a point of taking a position towards the centre of the road at those lights to hold the road in order to proceed directly ahead towards the Mercedes Garage. Given that the point of impact was to the nearside of your vehicle and you were turning left (were you not?) is there any possibility I accelerated and collided kamikaze style with your car, perhaps while I checked behind? I think not. I did not check behind at that point, I was concentrating on getting a good acceleration to the road ahead so as not to hold up any cars turning left like yourself. I do know that the first point of impact was between my right shoulder and our nearside doorpost, which would match with the drivers blind spot if using solely mirrors for observation. What troubles me most is that to get into a position to put me in your blind spot the only possible route was that you began overtaking me prior to turning left, which implies either a complete disregard for a cyclist on the road, or more probably a blind spot in your vision to the front and let. I am hopeful that you might see it is in your own best interests at this time to take some simple precautions. At the very least an urgent trip to the optometrist before you continue with any driving. If the outcome of these precautionary steps are all positive then maybe we can agree the accident was the result of a momentary lapse of concentration and you can make efforts to prevent any recurrence. In the unfortunate case that either of these tests reveals problems though I hope you will agree the only responsible action is to forgo driving, lest there be any more accidents. As a driver myself, and with a wife who used to drive but had to stop when her sight deteriorated and also a father (now deceased) who continued to drive beyond when he probably should have stopped, I hope I have some insight around this. I hope my letter has not annoyed or irritated. I am not seeking any admission of guilt from you and have no further objectives beyond preventing any further recurrence. Whether you reply to me is entirely up to you, but I do hope you are able to see that my requested precautionary steps are in your own best interests. In closing and to reinforce what I had to say, just take a moment to contemplate if you found yourself at the scene of a similar accident and lying in the road behind your car there were an elderly lady, or a bicycle with a child carrier attached. Imagine if they were not moving..... I don't think I need say any more. You have shown yourself to be a gentleman of integrity to me. I shall trust you to show it to yourself in your future actions around driving Very best regards [Captain Marvelous]
04:34 AM | 0 Comments
November 07

Got knocked off

... my touring bike yesterday. Coming away from some lights on the Bromley Road it was what I believe is referred to as a "left hook" where the driver just turned across me as though I was not there taking me out from the offside. I am careful with my road position so it felt as though he must have made some effort to hit me almost! Ironically this was after I had equipped Voyager with a new set of bright lights and made a policy decision to ride with lights on at all times! No witnesses to be had though... possibly due too slight state of shock I agreed he could make good for my ripped trousers, jacket and handlebar tape by posting me a cheque for eighty five quid to make good damages. I tried to impress upon him that above and beyond making good for for my damages I wanted him to ensure he never took down another cyclist and pointed out had it been a frailer person or child things could have turned out a lot worse. Only then did I think to ask him to read the writing on a van across the road... to which he replied he would need his glasses (the ones he was not wearing at the time!) .... and then he mentioned something about cataract operation pending (and he said he had only had one accident in seventy years making him likely late eighties in age). Too late I saw the error of my ways and realised this driver needs assessment and likely should not be driving. But, as Aero said, hopefully this has shaken him up a little and given him pause for thought regarding his driving any longer. For my part perhaps I'll invest in a helmet cam and in future have a definite policy of action for any "SMIDSY" drivers that take me down. I think maybe I should take some sturdy card and write out the steps to take and the things to avoid. I am just left with a huge sense of guilt - what if next time it is a child or an old lady and they are perhaps pulled under or take a more severe hit - I feel I had a responsibility to them to prevent this and I failed in that duty.
06:39 AM | 0 Comments