Today’s two contrasting commutes

This morning’s commute was colder than it has been for some time, but the riding was pleasant and it felt good to be out in the fresh air with the sun shining.

Tonight’s commute was another story.

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Mr & Mrs Two-Abreast

On tonight’s commute home I must confess I lost my temper and yelled at two of my fellow cyclists. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, I called them “f**king idiots”. Unfortunately, I don’t think they paid me a blind bit of notice.

Why? Because they were so engrossed in the conversation they were having with each other I could have waved a machine gun at them or danced in front of them naked and they wouldn’t have even seen me much less taken offence at my actions.

The reason I got so angry at these twits was the fact that they were cycling two-abreast along the very busy stretch of road that is Kensington Gore / Kensington High Street. Now, cycling two-abreast is fine if you’re going at a reasonable pace, but this couple were trundling along very slowly, probably not much more than 6mph, and all the while they were gas-bagging to one another completely oblivious to the other road users around them.

I longed to overtake them, but because the traffic was so heavy I was unable to get into the next lane without causing a serious incident. So I tailed them and muttered under my breath and then, unable to stand their inconsiderate ways any longer, bellowed “bloody
hell, get a move on!”

When I did eventually pass them, I turned my head and gave them a piece of my mind. I’m sure they didn’t even hear me.

The most infuriating thing is that this is not the first time I have been caught behind Mr & Mrs Two-Abreast, so it’s not like this was just a one-off incident. They are obviously regular commuters that should know better and chances are I am going to get stuck behind them again…

… which is why I thought I better check the Highway Code to see whether they are, in fact, doing anything illegal. According to the code it’s okay to cycle two-abreast, however, Rule 51 states that “you should ride in single file on narrow or busy roads”. Now if Kensington Gore / Kensington High Street isn’t classed as “busy” then I’ll eat my cycle helmet!

So, I guess the only thing I’ve got to worry about now is this: how do I deal with them next time I see them? Should I carry a copy of the Highway Code with me that has the relevant rule underlined and then chuck it at them as hard as I possibly can and hope it makes an impact?  Or should I get a megaphone, so that my comments can cut right through
their nicey-nicey conversation?

Typically, I forgot the camera! But what’s the bet if I had it with me I wouldn’t have seen half these bizarre sights!

On tonight’s journey home I kicked myself not once, not twice, but… oh… probably a DOZEN times for not having my camera with me!

The first kick came when I had to stop and let four mechanics wheel a FORMULA ONE Ferrari across my path. Yes. An F1 car! About two inches from me!

When I managed to squeeze past, I was then stopped a little further on by a security guard keeping tabs on the traffic situation on County Hall Apartments (the name of the road). There was certainly a lot of activity happening: big orange barriers being put in place, men in red Ferrari overalls wandering around, onlookers stopping and staring.

‘What’s going on?’ I asked. ‘Are they planning on racing that thing?’

‘Yes,’ he laughed. ‘Tomorrow.’

‘Imagine the crowds,’ I said.

‘Imagine the NOISE,’ he replied.

Well, um, yes.

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What about the bike?

From tonight’s Channel 4 Dispatches documentary entitled Britain’s Commuter Nightmare:

“What amazes me is how you British put up with this. You seem to have got used to being herded about like cattle and rarely getting anywhere on time.”
— Bob Kiley, New Yorker and former London Transport Commissioner.

Strangely enough, in this quite interesting look at Britain’s current transport woes (where the average speed on one motorway is a laughable 17mph!!), there is no mention of bicycles and how they could play a part in easing some of this traffic congestion.

Road sign gets just a tad too personal

From this week’s CTC newsletter (although I have seen it elsewhere and had it pointed out to me by a couple of colleagues):

“Cyclists have been baffled by a new road sign that warns ‘your bladder disease has returned’. The sign in Welsh was meant to tell cyclists to dismount at road works. However, the council had used an online translator that confused the words ‘cyclists’ and ‘cystitis’. Amended signs are now being put up in Penarth near Cardiff.”

Read the BBC report here

Licensed to buy a new bike!

My employer announced today that it has signed up to the Government’s Cycle to Work scheme.

This basically means that I can get up to 50% off the cost of a new bike as part of the scheme, which gives tax relief on up to £1,000 of cycling equipment.

The amount I choose to spend on a new bike is then deducted from my gross salary via a 12 month salary sacrifice.

Given that I am in the market for a new bike and wouldn’t mind spending a few bob, this is pretty good news in my books!