The days when you go on a bike and think its been safe,and been ok then you are onto a winner of a formula.The Sunday am ride is a privilege if you have time and its an essential part for the cycling community everywhere in the world.As cyclists become more, and we have over the last 10 years on countless roads.We should also become more noticeable on roads worldwide by drivers, but do we really have to cope with continual bad passing moves by drivers? This appears to be happening to a greater degree in car dominant cultures.
This is a tale of a few close passing incidents.But its nice to be able to talk about it.
The Sunday ride was passing off pretty nicely until bad pass no1 nearly took me out on a bridge, where the beaten up Nissan with both plenty of space and time showed blind disregard for my personal safely.The Nissan occupants were so close I was nearly smelling their arm-pits.Lets not keep it that close next time..I felt the car breeze in my legs.I did use a few choice words into the wind.It really doesn’t get you anywhere as the little Nissan went oblivious into the distance.
The morning was generally wind free and this also helps with narrowing down hazards on the the road.Its wrong to assume all cyclists think of drivers as being careless and reckless but their are drivers who care about cyclists.The Sunday am ride proved that with evidence of a lorry which slowed before a sequence of bends in the road to let me safely through and the pair of stunning Porsche 911S that obeyed the legal speed limit and gave a wide berth.And of course a few cars etc that beeped horns in both warning and support of a rider who knows the Tour de France will be not happening this year.
As a cyclist who mostly rides on the roads,I have to plan more and more every day and sometimes just look ahead a few hundred metres and think about the driving standards I see and debate the risk of using a particular route.Sometimes you are stuck with the instinct button and you know today is not the day to take a risk that actually should not even be there to start with.Cyclists deserve to given a safe road to ride.
The planner in me decided to finish with a few hill repeats for my training ride.I was thinking to myself,the hill work was coming on fine until the second close pass of the morning by an Audi and Mercedes Combi van driven at speed and in an apparent convey and passing for position on the road.The planner in me was thinking now maybe the recklessness of some people.The Slanghoek road is tight and allows no run-off at speed on a downhill.The chances of remaining in control and upright if you hit the gravel is poor.I could not believe how reckless these drivers were at less than a meters distance from me.The impatience of people just continues to shock me.And this would not be the last time.
The third close pass was from a similar situation where a group of 5 cars were just intent on barging through and again less than a metre or away from me. So really where does this all stop? The more you ride here in the Western Cape, the bigger the danger you feel you are in.Its a sad state of affairs when you encounter reckless and thoughtless drivers who continue to display no regard for another persons safety.The impression of this bike riders is that drivers tend to speed up when they see a rider on a bike and an approaching car from distance.How many times has this happened to me? Countless..And then we rider,and both car drivers are encountered in the same small piece of a road when there is nothing else on the road by a distance.Again why?
I as a rule don’t want to stop riding on the road.its something I love and find satisfaction from but at the some time i don’t want to end up as a traffic statistic.Its getting that dangerous.The consequences of a single mistake does not bear thinking about.