Listening to: Bach
Reading: Louise Allen, Married to a Stranger (enjoying)
This morning’s school run started out beautifully, with a bright moon in a sky that graduated from deep blue to blush pink, and what promised to be a beautiful sunrise. (Yes, of course this is an excuse for another sky pic.)
So there we were in the rush hour, on a narrow, bendy country lane. And there were these two cyclists.
Did they ride single file so it was safer for traffic to pass? No. They went for the two-abreast position. Traffic queued up behind them. The cyclists shook their fists at various people passing them but then went back to single file… until it was my turn to be behind them. I beeped and made a “please go to single file” gesture (not a rude one, I might add, a polite one).
They stopped and blocked the road.
I wasn't going to let them intimidate me, so I wound my window down to hear what they had to say for themselves.
“What did you say?” bellowed #1.
“Why aren't you riding single file? It's safer. What you're doing is dangerous.” (Polite. Not shouting. No swearing.)
#1 snarled, "Read the Highway Code. We're allowed to ride two abreast."
#2 started shouting at me from the other side. I couldn’t work out what he was saying. Wound down the other window. “Sorry, please can you repeat that?” (He wasn’t pleased. Well, sorry, I can’t help being deaf.) He shouted at me, "Where do you think you're going? Where do you think you’re going? You can't pass us."
Two 6 ft aggressive men (I’d say in their 30s, and physically fit – certainly not “fit” in the sense of “attractive”) versus one short, middle-aged female. Not going to be even, is it?
So I just shook my head, gave them the look that mothers give children when they are highly unimpressed by their behaviour (you know, the one where you mouth is a thin line because if you open it you're going to shout)... and crawled behind two smug, aggressive cyclists riding two abreast, even though I was pretty damn sure they were in the wrong. And I breathed a sigh of relief when they went off in a different direction at the roundabout.
Given that all the cars had their lights on because it was still dark, did they have hi-vis clothing and were the lights on their bikes switched on to make them more visible to other road users? Um... No. We’re talking head-to-toe black. Lights off.
I really don't have a problem with cyclists (kudos to people who are brave enough to cycle on roads, because I'm not). But I DO have a problem with smugness, aggressiveness and lack of consideration for the safety of other road users. And I am very glad that my other half and his cycling mates are not like those men: they have lights, hi-vis clothing, and common sense.
Oh, and just for the record, what does the Highway Code say about cyclists?
#59 is about clothing. Point 3 says they should wear “light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light”
#66 point 3 refers to riding in single file. “Never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.”
Hello, boys. “Read the Highway Code, indeed.” You read it a bit selectively, didn’t you?
Still. That kind of attitude is perfect for the antihero in my current book. The kind of guy who is most definitely going to get his comeuppance. (One of the perks of my job is being able to dispense poetic justice, LOL.)
Righty. I am going to make myself a cup of coffee and do some tortoising :)