.citycycling

.doing it on purpose

There can often come moments on the bike when you realise that you are fighting a losing battle; that anti-cyclist sentiment has become such a fog in some that all logic and sense left via the window quite some time ago. And so it was that I was riding past one of the roughest sections of road in my city, keeping right to avoid a potholed, undulating section of cobbles through a pinchpoint with an off-camber slight right sweep and cars parked on the left ahead. It only lasts about 20-30 yards. It's more than just a sensible option, it's a safe option.

Until you get a minibus driver passing closely (with what looked like a wheelchaired passenger in the back), ensuring he takes both hands off the steering wheel to remonstrate with me on where in the road I should be cycling. I point out the cars parked that I'm just into the process of passing, and so he cuts me up.

Of course you know how the story is then going to go. I catch him up about a mile further on. He's there, at the red light at a junction ahead (not in the ASL remarkably, though two cyclists are). Window is down.

I lean back to see if he's looking, he leans out, "It's not worth arguing about mate."

"I'm not going to argue, but it's just there were parked cars so I was staying out for them."

"Aye, but you were in the middle all the way, you were doing it on purpose."

The killer blow. I try to explain about the road surface and the parked cars, but his mind is closed. I'm getting in his way 'on purpose'.

Anyway, lights go green, he passes very close to one cyclist while still having a go at me, then completely cuts up the other cyclist to go through the road narrowing ahead as I turn right and away from the chase.

Seriously, how did we come to the point where cyclists are viewed as actually deliberately trying to get in the way of traffic? I don't know anyone (save for critical mass) who does it in order to hold people up and make their life difficult. For safety reasons maybe, but for kicks? That would be frankly insane on our part given how squishy we are if hit. Frustrating, too, that they can't see why I was riding where I was and process the logical thought that while it might have been done on purpose that purpose was very different to the one he had fabricated.

.the end

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