I’ve taken my cycling proficiency and my motorcycle test. They were both a long time ago but I still remember they both taught ‘The Lifesaver’. For those that don’t know, this is a quick check over your shoulder when you’re turning right, just before you make the actual turn. The idea being that if someone has got annoyed at being held up for a few seconds, they might decide to overtake you on your right as you make the turn, run over you and kill you, you’ll hopefully see them doing it and take evasive action.
The lifesaver is very aptly named. It has saved my life more than once. It saved it again this morning.
The scene is thus. A long straight road. It is 6:30 in the morning so it’s still dark and it is raining but the road is well lit, there’s only me and a single car driver on this road. Lets provide our driver with a nickname, how about ‘CUNTBUCKET’?
OK, so I’m riding along this straight, well lit, empty road. I’m also well lit and have multiple reflective strips on me including my arms. You would have to be clinically blind, to not be able to see me. As I ride along I have a right turn approaching. I look over my shoulder, see the car quite some distance away heading in the same direction as me, so I stick my arm out to indicate my intentions. Shortly afterwards I check over my shoulder again (arm still out), car still some distance away, so I move out towards the middle of the road. There can be absolutely no lack of understanding about my intentions. None whatsoever.
You’ll understand my surprise then, when I look over my shoulder to do the lifesaver, to find the car on the wrong side of the road, overtaking me. It’s very close now and because balance-wise, I’m almost committed to the turn, this causes me to wobble about a bit. I’m still holding the middle of the road, but now the bike is moving about quite a lot. I’m also nearly pooing my pants in shock as I try and direct the bike in a straight line and not underneath cuntbucket’s Merc.
I get the bike under control and keeping to the white line, look over my shoulder again. Cuntbucket has decided that perhaps that wasn’t the wisest decision and is now trying to pass me on the other side. There’s a lot of noise coming from somewhere now, it doesn’t sound very nice but it is very loud. It’s coming out of my mouth. Cuntbucket, no doubt fairly annoyed at being held up an extra second, completely ignores all this, undertakes me and continues on my way. The noise coming out of my mouth gradually quietens and slows and all is quiet again. I can hear dogs in the surrounding houses barking.
I’m still shaking when I get off my bike at work ten minutes later and angry as hell.
So the moral of the story kids, apart from ‘there’s some really, really, really, really, really, really shit drivers out there’, is
Always, always carry your lifesaver with you. Use it multiple times before making a right turn. It WILL save your life.