I’ve been getting my game on lately and standing up for my little patch of pot-holed concrete I share with other road users. By getting my 'game on', I don't mean pelting passed all those mini-wheeled Brompton diva's out there.... I mean being more vocal to car drivers who have very nearly rammed their big fat car into me.
Building up enough confidence to ride your bicycle in a city is one thing, but being able to speak to car drivers about their misdemeanors is another. I have always been the kind of cyclist that when you get cut up, you deal with it and carry on.
I'm not sure why I have started to speak up, maybe it's because those near misses have happened just one too many times, or maybe it's because I have been reading up about that unorthodox Superman style character called 'Traffic Droid'.
Whatever the reason may be, I have found myself giving the Help!MyChainCameOff dressing down to a few people of late*. I only really chirp up when I've been the target of the kind of near miss which makes you wish you had an ejection seat like this guy:
But I don't, so instead I have to say to the driver that their actions had put me in danger.
For example, I was cruising my way to Stoke Newington on a Friday night when some kind of East End gangster and his mate slammed right passed me with only a fraction of space between us. I’m no Tony Soprano but I knew these guys were just softies at heart. At the traffic lights I knocked on their cheap blacked out windows and explained that they had driven far too close to me. The driver reassured me that he was a good driver and that I shouldn't worry (Oh...ok then, I see, that makes sense??!).
So I said-
'Hey you, I could have been a child on my bicycle or a nervous rider, how do you think they would feel, HEY?'And they were like-
'So sorry Lady, we won't do it again, have a good evening.'They finished off the sentence with a nice smile which I returned. And that was the end of the Help!MyChainCameOff dressing down.
Do you ever attempt to speak to car drivers who have cut you up? And has it ever gone disastrously wrong?
*Please note that I am not transforming into Traffic Droid's Superwomen counterpart, no way Jose!