Thursday 11 April 2013

A funny thing happened...

...on the way home from work yesterday.

I got to this junction here:

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I was on the road (avoiding an utterly awful shared use facility which randomly ends after the junction with no sign, which is why the police stake it out to catch you - there is no possible way you can know that you can't legally ride from a random undrawn line on the pavement). You'll see a hedge in front of the house in the image above - in front of that the shared use path continues until just around the corner where it mysteriously ends - there is no sign, the path doesn't get narrower, before and after its unlabeled end the quality of riding on it is exactly the same. It is a wide, sweeping corner with pretty good visibility.

As I approached there was a cyclist going not very fast on the shared use lane - as I saw him he was half way across the road to the left (Highworth Avenue). A woman was walking in the opposite direction - past the hedge you can see in the image.

Plenty of room for both to pass each other. Heading straight towards each other. No need for confrontation or any kind of grief. Cyclist looking where he was going, as far as I could see. Younger chap, typical hybrid bike. Woman didn't look like there should be any problem for her - maybe in her 50s, walking comfortably.

I couldn't immediately explain what happened next. 

While the cyclist was still at good 10 meters away, the woman threw herself in to the hedge. The cyclist was over on the right side of the path already, to give her ample room, she was over on the left, the probability of any collision at this location where the cyclist could legally ride his bike was approaching zero - one of them would have had to intentionally gone at the other. It was safe, with a wide margin of error and complete comfort.

He looked quizzically at her in passing, I was a little behind and stopped to see what was wrong with her - was she having some kind of 'turn'? 

She went on to rant at me about ****ing cyclists running her off the path, we're all ****ing ****s who should be on the ****ing road... You get the message.

I guess this is an example of a freakishly unpleasant human being who is willing to inconvenience herself such that she's got some kind of story to tell about ****ing cyclists. Its part of joining in with the herd-mentality - I felt like my IQ was dropping every moment I spent there so I told her I'd seen everything and before considering sharing her tale with the media or police my own account of the event would also be online for anyone to read within 24 hours - I was the only witness to the event and my interpretation was that she's an ignorant bastard trying to exploit an unfair stigma against cyclists to get a rider who was doing nothing wrong into serious trouble, and as there was no way she was hurt from this or any way blame could be attributed to the cyclist she was only doing it for her own twisted amusement.

There is no moral to this tale - other than the fact that if anyone tells you there is no war on cycling they're missing the point. There is - folk like this deranged, sociopathic woman are fighting it. And you know what the bitch of it is? Despite the fact that her claim that a cyclist riding at her to run her into the hedge is flat out absurd, she'll go and whine at her mates all about it and they'll believe her - the demonisation of an outlier social group is simply part of how morons like that operate.

Cyclists, look out for each other. Times like this, it really matters.


  1. Yet another reason for all cyclists to wear video cameras.

    1. In case of mad pedestrian claiming irrational assault? I suppose so - but you could cycle a lifetime and see this kind of incident how many times, half a dozen?

  2. You do realise that this woman sounds completely unbalanced, and probably has no friends or people to talk to anyway (or, if she does, they are all in her head)? :-)

  3. Hello Cab,

    I also blog about cycling in Cambridge (although more London tbh) here - - and was wondering if you could add me to your 'other good stuff' please?