Category Archives: Bloody Idiots

James Martin: Ready Steady Cock

Wowee, it’s been over a year since my last post! Twelve months later and I’ve just gotten more angry. I’m even angrier after reading this, although I expected nothing less from the Daily Mail!

“God, I hate those cyclists…Knowing they wouldn’t hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed. The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my rear-view mirror. I think this could be the car for me.”

Source: The Daily Fail

Another White Van Man!!!

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.

White Van Man…again!!!

The driver of a white (and half yellow) van decided he would pull out of a side street and veer across a moving stream of traffic this morning. Not that dangerous really considering there were only three cyclists at the front of the moving stream of traffic – the lovely M and a school kid were up top and I was behind them. She was just in the middle of overtaking the school boy when the van pulled out in front of us. All three of us had to break hard to avoid hitting the damn thing. I looked at the van driver in disbelief as he drove off, then at the missus and at the school kid, who both mirrored my expression. When I caught up with the van at the lights I stood up and gave him “the look”. He didn’t have a care in the world and an apology was the last thing on his mind, so I cycled off with my head shaking. When he caught me up at the next set, he asked if I had a problem:

Me: “Yeh, actually, I do. I’ve got a problem with you’re driving”

Him: “So you have got a problem?”

Me: “Yeh”

Him: “You need help?”

Me: “No, you need help. With your driving. You just pulled out in front of us. Dangerous mate, seriously, you can’t pull out like that. What if you’d have hit me? I’m not sitting in a big tin can like you, I’ve got no protection.”

Him: “You’re crazy. You’ve got a real problem [points to his head].”

Me: Yeh, I have got a problem! With you’re bloody driving! And I’m not fucking crazy [in admittedly slightly crazy voice], you pulled out without looking and nearly ran into me and two other cyclists!

Him: No no no, you’re crazy. No way, never…

Voice from nowhere: YEH YOU DID!!!

I feel thoroughly vindicated as I turn back to see the school kid whizz by! Smugness washes over me as I turned to the driver:

Me: “Ohhhh, so how come he saw you then? You’re the crazy one mate! You need to sort it out!”

The driver’s face was a picture. I’m guessing he didn’t bank on getting caught with me for a grilling at the next three sets of lights either. The school kid and I met up further down the road, where he was thanked and I was much obliged.

Stupid Taxi Driver

The Short Story:

I think I found the ‘missing link’ today. Truly the most stupid taxi driver I have come across all week. He was sooo wrong (obviously), I was right, an argument ensued, I won (of course, yey me).

The Long Story:

My missus and I cycle the same route to work every week day and then we split off at a junction in Shoreditch to go our separate ways – see image from Google Maps below:

There are two lanes approaching the junction, the left hand lane is for those turning left (the Missus – direction in pink) or those going straight on (the taxi – direction in yellow) and the right lane is for those wanting to turn right (me in green). The other road on the right is one-way only for oncoming traffic. Oh, and just before the lights there’s a green box with a bicycle logo in it. That’s for bikes. Really, I didn’t think these points would need explaining but after this morning I have been proved worryingly wrong.

Anyway, the lovely M approaches the junction on the left side. I need to go right, and to do so I have to get in the right hand lane, which means at some point crossing from one lane to the other. I feel the need to stress that until they provide some kind of teleportation device for bicycles THIS IS UNAVOIDABLE – to get from the left lane to the right lane I HAVE TO CROSS THE MIDDLE.

At the time I started moving to the right there was NO traffic, except one lone black cab too far behind us to matter. I looked back again, signalled and made my move. I was now in the right hand lane approaching the lights (on red). Fine. Or so I thought. Apparently the cabbie took offence at us for some reason and when we were nearing the ASLs (green bike box), he drove into the narrow gap between us. We came to a halt at the lights with only a couple of inches between us and the cab. I looked at the Missus, signalled at the taxi and gave her the ‘shaking head’. She agreed. He didn’t. He drove into the bicycle box and spat: “Have you got a fucking problem?” From then on the conversation went as follows:

Me: Yeh, what are you doing?
Taxi: What’s your problem? You were all over the fucking road!
Me: Excuse me? All over the road? I don’t think so. Why are you in the box? You’re committing a traffic offence, you know.
Taxi: No, I’m not. You are.
Me: Of course you are, you need to read the highway code, mate. I’m the only one that’s got the right to be where I am. I’m meant to be here. You’re not. Simple as.
Taxi: No, you need to read the fucking highway code, you committed the offence!

Last time I checked, being in the middle of the road to turn right wasn’t breaking the law, in fact, the highway code agrees with me, which instructs cyclists to move to the middle before turning right:

If you are turning right, check the traffic to ensure it is safe, then signal and move to the centre of the road. Wait until there is a safe gap in the oncoming traffic and give a final look before completing the turn. It may be safer to wait on the left until there is a safe gap (from here)

They also agree that no-one else is allowed in our box:

Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cycles to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows. (from here)

Me: Oh really? I’ve done nothing wrong and I know that for a fact. But if can you tell me what law I just broke, what offence I just committed?
Taxi: Yeh! You – you’re the offence.
Me: You’re obviously an idiot. You’ve just broken the law, not me. Look it up. ‘Junctions’ and ‘ASLs’ – look it up and feel like a prick.
Taxi: Ring the police then!
Me: The police! What are they gonna do? Nothing, and you know it. You think I’m that petty to ring the police over this? You’re wrong
and you’re an idiot.
Taxi: No, you’re the fucking idiot. Where are you going now then? I suppose you think you’re going straight on do you?
Me: Nope, wrong again. I’m turning right, which is why I’m in the right hand lane. Prick.
Taxi: [Lowering his voice slightly as he knows he’s wrong but still wont admit it] Well just make sure you do.
Me: [Laugh]. Totally lost it. What an idiot.
Taxi: No, you’re the fucking idiot!

At this point his circular argument and parroting is really starting to grate, so it’s just as well the lights turned green and we went our separate ways (not before he swerved at me before driving off like a lunatic).

Complete case of cabbie’s BMI being higher than his IQ. Love it when I’m right though.