22 February 2007
Think of all the little things that rob you of your momentum - sometimes with a good excuse, sometimes without one. Drivers don't see you coming down the hill and instinctively pull closer to the kerb when traffic gets heavy and cars begin to queue. The pedestrian traffic light at the bottom of the slope, that makes you stop then begin your ascend from scratch. The polite drivers that stop to let other drivers take a right turn or cross the junction - without checking first that you are alongside them or slightly behind, so you have to screech to a halt, or risk being run-over. The school-run mum whose method for joining the main road traffic is to barge in with her kid-laden people-carrier, confident a polite driver will, hey, let her in: twice I've nearly crashed into one of those. My anger is almost all reserved, though, for those drivers who see you and think "can I make my left turn ahead of the biker?... yeah, I can" - if they are kind enough to rev their engine you get some warning, otherwise the first you know is when you stamp yourself against the side of their car, or end up under their wheels, or up-ended on the tarmac.