Saturday, 26 March 2011

sorry mate I saw you but you were in my way...

Twice on a cycle back from shopping in north end. Once on Dover Road, a silver saloon full of apparently drunk young men, came out of a junction without looking, I rang my bell they stopped, so I ended up in front of them on a narrow street, I got the jeering 'ding ding', then a narrow shave over take and a horn blown right next to me. Didn't get the number, which was a shame as there was a police car at the end of the road.

Then five minutes later another silver vehicle (a small panel van) wanted to over take me, on a road that is only wide enough for one car (Walmer Road). I was cycling at about 15 mph in a 20 mph limit, and could not easily pull into a single car space to let him past at that speed. When he passed (another narrow shave) he then slowed right down to force me to slow down, and was audible shouting that I should cycle faster. Its just a shame that people like this have driving licences. I did get the index number on that occasion and have reported his driving behaviour. I stopped and got my phone out and he sped off. As it appeared to be a commercial vehicle I'm staggered that he would take such a risk with his livelihood.

Thing is, I used the back roads in Portsmouth because the main streets are often unpleasant to cycle in, but most of the back streets, despite 20 mph limits are sufficiently blocked by parked cars that there is just enough room for a car, and difficult for a car to pass a bike safely, even at 20 mph.. Just depressing. I'll have to get the helmet cam out. Fortunately this does not happen very often, and its been a couple of years since I've experienced anything like this, even on this route which I use quite often. Most of the driving in Portsmouth is quite good, even considerate, it just seems to be a tiny number of people for whom aggression is a way of life. My observation is that a very small number of people cause 90% of the mayhem in society and on the road. Wish we could identify them, get them off the road, and ideally lock them up on a tiny island, maybe a traffic island!