Monday, March 21, 2011

Near Misses

They seem to be out to get me at the moment.

Last week, cycling along North Road SW19, a car driven by a young woman emerged without looking from a side road into my path, and I had to swerve out of the way. Unfortunately the field of view of my camera wasn't wide enough to capture the car, and the only image was two headlight beams sweeping across my path. Fortunately I'd anticipated the danger and had my Plan B - brakes on and steer out of the way - at the ready. So no damage done: mildly miffed (3) on the Barber scale of close shaves. Mitigating factors: she was just a kid, and probably more surprised than I was.

At the weekend, riding down Dorset Road SW19, there was a bit of traffic in front of me, and for once the cars were not exceeding the 20MPH limit, so I was easily able to keep up, holding the primary position. That wasn't enough for the chav behind though, who honked his horn once and then overtook uninvited into the non-existent gap between me and the car in front. Thus committed, he had to cut me off, which he did mouthing some abuse. Again I'd seen it coming and was able to get out of the way. No damage done once more: perceptibly peeved (4) on the Barber scale. Mitigating factors: crappy old car and comically inept driving - a total loser.

Today, coming back along Vauxhall Street, Lambeth, a minicab came out of a side-road without stopping at the give-way line, into my path, stopping just before the point where I would have had to take evasive action. Insignificantly irked (2) on the Barber scale this time. Mitigating factors - he did at least stop, if rather close to the wire.

So, three near misses in as many days. None of them of the heart-thumping, life-flashing-before-your-eyes variety, and in two cases, at least the driver saw me. So I live to blog another day. But they all took place on LCN cycle routes, and they were all the kind of incident that would put an inexperienced rider off cycling, and for an untrained rider could have resulted in a crash.

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