Thursday 14 April 2011

A very unpleasant incident

A pretty unpleasant incident happened in Stratford one way system the other day.

A driver took exception to me being in the bus lane (which is open to cars during road-works) and beeped and shouted - even though I was in stationary traffic. I tried to indicate for him to pass after the lights, but that got him even more worked up, so when the lights went green he basically drove at me and hit my arm as he past. He stopped and reversed, so I moved to a parking space where we exchanged abuse before he drove off.

Then it gets strange. I caught up with him within minutes of him driving off, and had a word. I kept it very polite and said his driving was a real problem. He actually apologised, which got me apologising (for what I don't know) before both of us went our ways. He seemed quite calm and reasonable, yet minutes earlier was forcing me off the road for no reason at all.

Driving like this makes a mockery of the advise about primary position and so on. There are some car drivers (and they aren't all of them by a long shot, but they are a significant number) who simply don't care and will decide to drive through no matter what.

For this reason I will be using a video camera when I cycle from now on. If I do get knocked off, I at least have evidence.

The incident isn't the first around the gyratory at the moment - I have seen other cyclists bullied as well. The problem is that the bus lane is open for cars during the road-works, but most don't realise this. Therefore a queue builds on the outside lane, and the bus lane is used by aggressive drivers who want to pass at any cost. Precisely the people who shouldn't be allowed to share road-space with cyclists (or anyone come to that). But Newham are a deeply cycle unfriendly council, for whom this sort of consideration to cyclists isn't worth it. Hence the complete lack of even basic cycle facilities on their appalling road system.

The incident made me the closest to given up cycling since I started using the bicycle again a few years ago. I won't give up, but think that it is a sad reflection on the state of our roads that I feel the need to record my journeys because of the dangerous driving that some seem to think is acceptable.


  1. veho muvi cameras are cheap but prone to falling out of their (weak) clips. Handlebar mounting is easy, but it doesn't give you coverage to the side of the bike.

  2. Just got a Muvi. Quality looks good but need to get the sports pack to be able to mount it anywhere sensibly.

  3. If you use a MUVI get a twofish lockblock velcro mount, I find they're more sturdy on the bike with those.

    If you use the standard mounts that come with them, then a thick elastic band works wonders.