Monday, 28 January 2013

It Only Takes One Idiot

Last Saturday on the way back from the local Supermarket with a week's shopping on the back of my trike I witnessed the ultimate in stupidity and impatience.

Picture from Google Maps
My way home leads me through what is supposed to be a quiet residential street which also leads to a large beach front car park.  The area is popular for walking, cycling and ultimately to the beach.  As you can see there are the occasional spots allowed for on road parking on the left.

On Saturday the parking area on the left you see in the picture had cars parked from beginning to end.  That particular stretch allows about 6 cars.

After looking behind me and seeing it safe I signaled then pulled out and cycled passed said parked cars well out of the door zone.

I was literally 2 pedal pushes away from the end of the row that would then enable me to pull into the left again when a car coming up behind caught up with me.  There was also a car coming towards us on the other side of the road.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that a driver could be so impatient as to over take me at that point.

As I was level with the very last parked car in the row, the car behind whizzed up beside me to overtake, obviously now in the right hand lane, and baring down fast on the car coming in the other direction.  As he pulled in to the left I had actually cleared the parked cars and was myself pulling in left which would have allowed anything to over take me safely.

He had missed the on coming car by inches.  Too impatient to wait just a couple more seconds.

No wonder with idiots like that on the road more and more people are taking to riding on pavements even on quiet roads like this one.

8 comments:

  1. So glad to here from you again, but I'm sorry for your near miss. Bravo for doing your shopping by bike!

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    1. Hi Annie. Thanks for popping over.

      It wasn't so much a near miss for me rather than the poor motorist coming towards him on the other side. Sometimes one just has to shake ones head at the stupidity of some drivers.

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  2. Yes and it's about time those in charge woke up and realised that what ever happens there will always be morons on the road like that and the proven best way to deal with it is dutch style segregation, rather than constant campaigns of policing against pavement cyclists.

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    1. The funny thing is that this particular road doesn't need any special "cycling" infrastructure. This road leads only to the beach and residential homes on the other side. There is no need for anyone to be motoring down there unless they live in one of the small turn offs or unless they are visiting the hill, woods and beach.

      But because it is a long "U" shape with both ends coming off of the main through road it is used as a cut through for cars to avoid the shopping street that runs through this village type town.

      This particular road could just do with being 20mph and making it one way for cars and two way for cycles.

      This would make it far more pleasant for those that live here, safer for those coming off the beach with their kids and dogs and safe for cyclist as there would only be the odd car coming through.

      Not only that but making this particular road one way for cars would have a great knock on affect for the smaller residential roads that lead off/into it.

      But it just goes to show how different people have different ideas on what is a safe road and what isn't.

      I am unashamedly a pavement cyclist on fast main roads. I never hesitate to use a pavement as shared space if there is even a hint that I am not safe riding the road. But on this road I post about I wouldn't dream of riding on the pavement as I consider it an ideal road to share space with motorised traffic with and feel quite safe and relaxed when cycling through it. Yet the majority of cyclists that come down this road are riding on the pavement.

      It just goes to show that "all" roads and not just main roads do need some thought about when thinking of people and not just cars.

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  3. Having an oncoming vehicle approaching just as one is about to be overtaken happens very often even on seemingly quiet roads. I am not sure if this situation is mentioned in the highway code but surely both drivers need to take action as most courteous drivers would. The oncoming vehicle should slow down and pull over as much as possible and of course the vehicle behind should slow right down and time his passing to when the other vehicle has passed.

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    1. Yes it is covered in the highway code. The law is that one waits to over take until it is safe to do so.

      The vehicle over taking should not be over taking when it requires them to over take by driving on the wrong side of the road if there is traffic coming towards them at that time.

      It's got nothing to do with manners, it's got to do with dangerous driving.

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  4. I regularly see this sort of thing on my commute- on a 60mph (national speed limit) route. I am terrified that one day I'm going to, at best, witness a horrifying head on smash.

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    Replies
    1. It's amazing how normally sane people will do the insane the moment their backside is in the driving seat.

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