Cycling in the light — and a rant about the ‘daredevils’ who cross Hyde Park Corner

I snuck out of the office a little early today, which meant I got to cycle home while it was still daylight. I’d forgotten how lovely it was to cycle without the need for head or tail lights.

Mind you, dusk began to descend when I was still three miles from home, so I made sure all my lights were flashing, which is more than I can say for many of my counterparts on the road. Why so many cyclists persist in wearing all-black gear with not even a single reflector anywhere on their bike is beyond me. Even as a cyclist tailing along behind them, I can barely distinguish these black ghouls from the road. It must be almost impossible for a motorist, who has to peer through a thick windscreen, to see them.

Oh, and while I’m being critical of my fellow (irresponsible) cyclists, can I just remind the idiots that try to jump the lights at Hyde Park Corner every night, that this is possibly the worst intersection in the whole of London to try that little stunt. This is because:
(1) It’s a blind corner, so the traffic can’t see you (and you can’t see the traffic)
(2) The lights don’t seem to be properly synchronised with others in the vicinity, so you can’t always predict that there’s nothing coming around the corner. Just because there’s a gap in the traffic, doesn’t mean the lights are about to change. I have lost count of the number of near misses I’ve witnessed due to cyclists making this error.
(3) The traffic shunts around here at speed, and because there are no lane markings the cars and buses and motorbikes seem more concerned about fighting for their space than watching for a cyclist who shouldn’t be there.

There. I feel better now. I hope the lady with the high-heeled boots and black cardigan takes note — especially given she didn’t have any lights and almost got skittled crossing Hyde Park Corner when she shouldn’t have been crossing it in the first place!

Total distance: 12.35 miles | Ride time: 1hr, 13min and 06sec | Average speed: 10.67mph | Top speed: 20.4mph

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