That Friday Feeling

17 May 2015

Friday’s ride was good. Wouldn’t have minded a bit more sun, I guess, but I spent ten hours in the saddle and felt better than expected, which is a good day out by any standards.

One thing did spoil it a bit, though.

Now, there were lots of good drivers. A few really great ones: a particular shout out to the Humphrey Feeds HGV driver as well as a number of car drivers, who were patient and passed with as much space as was available to them.

But then there were a few others.

It’s rare that I start to reconsider my love of riding on the road, but there were so many close passes—properly close; one of them “jolt-your-hips-left-as-the-wing-mirror-passes” close—at anything up to 60mph that the thought started to circle my mind. After 25 years on the road I’m fairly philosophical about these things, but by the final few miles my nerves were left somewhat shredded.

I really don’t want a ride to end with my wife and kids trying to dig through insurance papers because they need the money for a box to put daddy in and set fire to, all for someone’s reluctance to move their right foot.

If you can (or already do) understand that, and sympathise with that, and change, and allow just a few seconds to pass safely—a few seconds that will almost always be neutralised at the next junction anyway—then thankyou.

If you can’t, or won’t, then—sincerely—fuck you, fuck you up the arse, fuck you in your empty, thoughtless head, and fuck you again.

Comments

  1. Dave 17 May 2015 10:56pm #

    I had a lovely ride today too. Up round Manchester to the velodrome and Clayton Vale. 35 miles over very few roads over as I’ve already lost faith, as you’re beginning to. There’s a place where lots of bikes pass from the park back to the velodrome across a road. We have no right of way but a nice lady stopped for us anyway – which was nice. And unexpected. Then later there was the van that we could see starting to move out from a lay-by into our group. There were shouts of warning, when the driver lent out of the window looking back at us (not looking where he was going) and tried to run my friend into a hedge, while shouting, “I’m pulling out ‘cos I’m allowed to. Now, fuck off!” (sigh) Where does this aggression come from? Some people are considerate, but there’s only a few. Most are just thoughtless and careless, but they’re just people and understand. Some are killers. The last type are incomprehensible to me and I find it hard not to react.

  2. T.Foxglove 18 May 2015 11:11am #

    A friend reckons headphones are a boon. Essentially you don’t spend your ride waiting for a car engine, listening to the note to see if they are slowing & then tensing up when it doesn’t change.

    When one is a bit close, you go “ooh, that’s a bit close” and then carry on as before.

    I understand they do similar in abattoirs.

  3. Chris 18 May 2015 2:18pm #

    Couldn’t agree more about the headphones. The make me enjoy the ride so much more, and best of all, I can’t hear the drivers when they roll down their windows and call me (a woman) a c—.

  4. Eric D 21 May 2015 3:37am #

    Since we’re changing the topic to headphones 😉
    Usually the noise of the ‘wind’ in your ears/hair/specs/helmet drowns out most sound,
    I have been wondering if we could adapt the sound recordist’s trick of putting a ‘Rycote dead cat’ microphone windshield by wearing a hairy windshield around our ears.

    http://www.rycote.com/products/windshield-solutions/
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009WQC4OS/

    We could listen to a microphone instead of music …
    http://amzn.to/1cPeDRc

    Bonus – winding-up the Borises !

    • Bimbliing 28 May 2015 8:12pm #

      I’m intending to slaughter a furbee (anyone with now grown-up children remember them?) and m?ake my own. Should they not be called Wiggins’is

  5. mikey bikey 22 May 2015 1:51am #

    Know what you mean about close passes that make one flinch. Those stick-out springy reflectors never caught on, maybe coz they broke off, and the lengths, literally, some go to with projecting 3ft sign bars seems asking for more grief :. One guy said he got lots of room with a trailer made of alloy ladder rails, so an asymmetrical rack made of it may work, if bulky looking.
    I saw the fictional product ‘MicroMuff’ on HIGNFY recently :). Might look a bit odd in warmer weather, and wool is best, but a pair of Acoustic foam pads attached to a pair of mini ear defenders (minus the plugs) might stop the wind whistling thru ones ears, and help hearing? Seems worse as one gets older, which is surprising, as tho ears get bigger with age, they also get hairier! :D. Cheers, Mikey

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