26 October 2007

Darkness comes so quickly

I can never get used to this: darkness does not come gradually - one week it's an October indian summer, sunny evenings in mild weather, the sky blue and red for long enough so I can make it home without the bike lamps on. And today, dark from the onset - and this is before the clocks change this weekend!

I don't know if it was the darkness, but it was a bit more eventful a journey than it would normally be. First, I had to stop at a chemist, and my route on from there took me past Manchester's Central Library just as a group of cyclists was congregating for the monthly 'critical mass' bike ride. I thought "great, a bunch of fellow cyclists to cheer me on". Far from it - one of them actually did a 'pedestrian' on me and just stepped across my path as if I didn't have lights on, reflective vest, the works. This time I didn't fall off my bike, but I certainly had to stop in a hurry. Did he care? Did he heck! He looked at me with the contempt youngsters believe to be the cool reaction to their own stupidity, and turned his back on me. Call me prickly, but a bit of courtesy would not have been amiss.

On the road, I had a car overtake me and turn left - luckily it happened to be the way I was going, but I hadn't signalled, so I could have been going straight across in which case I'd have ended under the wheels. And on Bury Old Road I had a big 4x4 screech and beep right beside me, all of a sudden - not at me, but because another car had failed to get out of their way quickly enough.

The truth is, while I am as determined as ever to cycle every day if possible - and I still thoroughly enjoy doing it - my fall just over a month ago has shaken me a bit. Perhaps I was naive before: I knew people had acccidents, but they didn't happen to me, I was sooo careful and sensible... alas, it ain't that simple now, is it?

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