White van drivers are making up a disproportionately large number of my rants these days, and today’s rant is no exception. This morning it happened at the same junction where I had a run-in with that other bloody idiot. Anyway, I have to take a right hand turn at this particular junction every morning. Unfortunately, the signalling runs rather unconventionally which means you have to move into the middle of the junction when the lights are on green and wait for the oncoming stream of traffic to end before actually finishing the turn. The road is clearly marked for this purpose, but you are sometimes left in the middle of the junction until the lights go amber again, which can get a bit dicey sometimes.
In any case, this morning I approached the lights and sat in the bike box waiting for the green light. The driver of a white van behind me starts revving his engine, I’m not quite sure why, but I know he’s there, so I guess that’s reason enough. The lights turn green and I move to the middle of the junction waiting to take my right hand turn. There is a consistent flow of oncoming traffic which I’m not keen on cutting across, so I wait. Like I do every morning. I’m sat waiting, when white van man starts to get a bit crabby. He’s not liking all this hanging around and starts revving his engine again. I’m thinking ‘Not quite sure where you want me to go pal, but if you think I’m heading into that lane of traffic, forget it’. As the lights go amber, the resulting gap in the traffic allows me to make my move and I turn into Hackney Road with white van man in tow. He still can’t pass me because there are cars parked on either side of the street. He decides to try anyway – apparently being crabby, especially when in charge of a huge hunk of metal, gives you licence to do all sorts of things, including careering past cyclists with only an inch to spare. He managed it, but it was the closest shave I’ve had in a long time. At first I thought he had actually skimmed my arm, but I think it was probably just the draft in between us. Although by now I should be used to this sort of thing, I was really quite shocked.
I caught up with him a while later and just before making a left turn into a side street, I rapped on his wing mirror as I passed him to let him know how I felt about his earlier behaviour. I felt like ripping the damn thing off, but I didn’t. That, I thought, was the end of that. Not so! The van then turned into the same side street in pursuit. Oh dear. At this point I must admit I did feel a little wobbly. I wasn’t sure what he was going to do and had visions of him mowing me down in an angry rage. I was about to consider mounting the pavement when he came up behind me and started to overtake, but not before shouting all kinds of expletives at me. Flight turned into fight again as my fear was replaced by fury! How dare he? As he passed I gave his van a thump on the side. Bloody bullish white van man. As I followed him, I got more and more worried – it seemed he was tracing my exact route to work! I was quite mortified when he turned into a warehouse on our road, about two units down from the studio! I’m not sure if he works there or was just delivering, but knowing my luck I’ll probably be seeing more of him.