/ I've let the side down.

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SethChili - on 11 Mar 2014
I enjoy a good rant against car drivers .
But I'm about to launch into a tirade against myself , a cyclist .

This morning I set out on my commute , as I have done almost every day for the last 2 years . I cycled up the same side street , and paused at the same junction onto a main road I planned to turn right . The visibility was good, I'd had a good night's sleep and I was enjoying the fresh air . I had time to spare
A car approached on the right side of the road , perhaps 20 meters away . I checked to the left and didn't notice any traffic . All I had to do was wait for the car to pass .
But at that point something in my head kicked my legs into action ''Yeah , you can nip out here ahead of that car . Easy . Piece of cake ''
I didn't indicate , didn't make eye contact with the driver and peddled out into the road . At this point things went into a strange slow motion sequence .
I swerved past the car coming from the right missing it by a couple of feet . A small black car had now appeared on the other side of the road , coming from the left. I also swerved past this car - barely inches away from the front bumper . Somehow I managed to reach the verge without a crash .
It is fair to say that had I been hit it would have been entirely my fault . I acted like a twit , took a split second decision to save a few seconds on my journey and almost caused a nasty collision . All in all , I did a pretty moronic thing and have certainly given at least two drivers more reason to dislike cyclists .
puppythedog on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

I hate when things go worng and it's my fault. Glad you made it without injury. Take heart in a lesson learned/re-learned.
JohnnyW - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

We've all done something similar mate. Cathartic to admit your idiocy sometimes, eh!?

I think the trick is to make sure you live and learn, literally, and admit to it when in one of 'those' debates that one gets into on the subject. A bit of humility often lends credibility to our arguments......

There by the Grace.....
Bob on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

At least you're man enough to admit it.

We all make mistakes, lapses of judgment, etc. Owning up to and learning from them is harder.
ByEek - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

Glad you are still in one piece. I must admit that the frequency of near misses for me has been going up of late. I am happy to boast a 100% no-accident record since I started riding to school aged 8 and doing stints in Birmingham and Manchester since, but am seriously getting worried that I may be due a spill sooner rather than later.
balmybaldwin - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

Done the same in the past myself, although very very rarely. worse, I've done similar in the car... at least on a bike you are (mainly) only endangering yourself!
Rob Parsons on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

Yeah, yeah: 'you've let us down; you've let the side down; but, worst of all, ... etc. etc. ...'

I remember you though, since in one of your previous rants (http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/profile.php?id=144167) you wrote:

'My position has always been to cycle in a entirely legal and correct manner so that it would be impossible for an accident to be my fault ...'

and you didn't like being challenged on that.

Tony the Blade on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

It's people like you that give proper cyclists a bad name/reputation, I hope you're proud of your actions.

And to think, you don't even pay road tax. I'm appalled.
The New NickB - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Your contributions to cycling threads are remembered as well Rob.
SethChili - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Yeah I didn't like being challenged on that at the time - as I had not been involved in a near miss which could be described as my fault . And the incident described in that thread was not my fault .
I would still say that my aim is always to cycle in a legal and correct manner .
Making a mistake is a reality check - I'm a human with potential to cause problems for my self and others .

And I do feel genuinely bad . I don't want to fuel resentment towards cyclists .
Skol on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

There aren't any 'sides' mate. There's cyclists who drive, and drivers who cycle. Then there's dickheads who cycle and dickheads who drive. You've not let anyone down, everyone has a lapse. Glad that fortune was on your side:-)
SethChili - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Skol:


> There aren't any 'sides' mate. )

True , the title of the thread was somewhat tongue in cheek - I know how the media like to polarize the so called 'cycling debate'' ( of course there is no debate - cycling has been around for a good while and isn't going anywhere )
I thought the title would grab the attention of ukc readers . I was basically aiming to draw attention to the fact that that 'idiot cyclist ' just like the 'idiot driver'' is probably having a bad day or a momentary drop in reaction times .
sbc_10 - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

Both sides need to anticipate the fallibility of the other.

There is a bizarre philosophy ( backed up with stats in test areas ) that removing all road signage and markings make people behave more responsibly as they have to second guess the other road users!! Caution being the best option.

Timmd on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to sbc_10:
> Both sides need to anticipate the fallibility of the other.

> There is a bizarre philosophy ( backed up with stats in test areas ) that removing all road signage and markings make people behave more responsibly as they have to second guess the other road users!! Caution being the best option.

It's the 'shared space' concept. A village/town in Germany has seen accidents and car speeds go down and people feel safer to walk and cycle IIRC.

If there's signs and road makings, people can tend to focus on how they're not doing anything wrong and zoom along 'in their own bubble' a little bit more, it seems.


Post edited at 11:32
The New NickB - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to sbc_10:

> Both sides need to anticipate the fallibility of the other.

> There is a bizarre philosophy ( backed up with stats in test areas ) that removing all road signage and markings make people behave more responsibly as they have to second guess the other road users!! Caution being the best option.

It has been experimented with a bit in the UK, Homezones and the like. Slows people down, they have to think about their environment a bit more.

I notice it sometimes when a set of traffic lights at a busy junction fails, the junction often runs very smoothly, people are more considerate, think more about what is going on around them.
Chris Harris - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

The other thing to consider when making such a move is the possibility of the unexpected.

I once went to turn right from a main road into a side road across the path of an oncoming lorry. There was time to make the move, but not a lot of time to spare. As I started turning across the lorry's path , my front tyre exploded & I ended up on the deck in the middle of the road, right in front of said lorry.

Respect to both the driver's speed of reaction & the quality of his brakes.

Tim Chappell - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

Errare humanum est... confiteri angelicum.
Flinticus - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Errare? That's the sound my dog makes when I come home.
The New NickB - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

> Errare? That's the sound my dog makes when I come home.

But to "Errare" is human!
Tim Chappell - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

Maybe it can also be Dog Latin.
Skol on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

> Errare? That's the sound my dog makes when I come home.

Mine too:-)
Timmd on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to Chris Harris:
> The other thing to consider when making such a move is the possibility of the unexpected.

> I once went to turn right from a main road into a side road across the path of an oncoming lorry. There was time to make the move, but not a lot of time to spare. As I started turning across the lorry's path , my front tyre exploded & I ended up on the deck in the middle of the road, right in front of said lorry.

> Respect to both the driver's speed of reaction & the quality of his brakes.

Eek! I've noticed cycle commuting seems to have made me consider risks in other areas a bit differently, like I see risk where I didn't used to a little bit more.
Post edited at 18:10
Tim Chappell - on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to Timmd:

There is nothing like cycling a road to get you to drive it better...
Timmd on 16 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:
Or just think about the breakability of bones and one's mortality it seems, when it comes to mixing with traffic.
Post edited at 02:37
Timmd on 16 Mar 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:
It's translated into climbing, I'm not so chuffed about that. I need to get the fun back, have faith I can do what I think I can.
Post edited at 11:22
sbc_10 - on 16 Mar 2014
In reply to SethChili:

Don't worry yourself too much.

Take some advice from 1936.

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/cycling-tips/query/cycling

All you need is that stiff upper lip and received pronunciation.!!

Tally-ho!!
gethin_allen on 16 Mar 2014
In reply to sbc_10:

There's actually some pretty close shaves in that film, I wonder if it was filmed slower and sped up to be more dramatic. If filmed at full speed the drivers should be commended for not running into the cyclist.


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