Error of judgement

August 31, 2010 at 22:38 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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Sometimes, I make mistakes whilst cycling. Not often (or at least I like to think so), but this morning was one of those days when I did. As a result I ended up sprawled on the road in front of a whole bunch of people, which was all rather embarrassing.
I do reflect on the things I do that were perhaps a bit ill advised in order to learn from them. And I thought by posting this you can either ‘tut tut’ at me, laugh at me or learn with me, as you see fit.
It happened on the way to work, on Kent Street, on the section approaching the Harbour Bridge just after the road goes under the expressway. The traffic was very snarled up and at a standstill, and I was reflecting on how all these inconsiderate car users were holding me up by taking up all the road. As usual, I was making my way between the parked cars on the left and the queue of traffic. As I approached point 1 (see diagram), I was unable to proceed due to a badly parked car, and the proximity of the queuing car to the parking lane.
The traffic wasn’t moving, and another cyclist was also waiting at this point for the traffic to start flowing again. Being a smarty-pants, I decided I would look for a route around the congestion, and rode out to position 2 to assess the way around. it was a bit tight, but I judged I could get through, so proceeded between the cars with the intention of continuing the journey along the green arrow.
As I got to position 3, I clipped the wing mirror of the car on the right with my hand, wobbled, and then rather inelegantly fell of at position 4. Hmmm. Perhaps not as much space as I thought.
My first thought was that I might have damaged one of the cars; and that at least I had insurance. The guy’s mirror was bent back, so I pushed it back into place and checked it – no damage it seemed. I also checked the front of the car on the left as I had fallen against it – no damage there either. Phew.
The guy in the car I had clipped opened his window.
“Sorry, sorry”, I gabbled, “There’s no damage, it all looks fine. Sorry about that, Sorry.”
“Never mind that”, he said with a concerned tone, ‘Are you all right?”
I looked at him uncomprehendingly for a moment. What was he saying? Surely his car was the most important thing, and then a rant at me for being a scofflaw cyclist. It finally sunk into my brain that he was worried about my welfare. Extraordinary.
“Erm, yes, I’m fine. Absolutely fine. Erm, sorry about that. Bit stupid there.”
He smiled at me, I wheeled the bike to the side of the road, and the traffic moved on.
So I suppose there is a positive to this story after all. There are some jolly nice people out there, it seems. Don’t let the tiny minority of nasty ones get you down.

Sometimes, I make mistakes whilst cycling. Not often (or at least I like to think so), but this morning was one of those days when I did. As a result I ended up sprawled on the road in front of a whole bunch of people, which was all rather embarrassing.
I do reflect on the things I do that were perhaps a bit ill advised in order to learn from them. And I thought by posting this you can either ‘tut tut’ at me, laugh at me or learn with me, as you see fit.
It happened on the way to work, on Kent Street, on the section approaching the Harbour Bridge just after the road goes under the expressway. The traffic was very snarled up and at a standstill, and I was reflecting on how all these inconsiderate car users were holding me up by taking up all the road. As usual, I was making my way between the parked cars on the left and the queue of traffic. As I approached point 1 (see diagram), I was unable to proceed due to a badly parked car, and the proximity of the queuing car to the parking lane.

The traffic wasn’t moving, and another cyclist was also waiting at this point for the traffic to start flowing again. Being a smarty-pants, I decided I would look for a route around the congestion, and rode out to position 2 to assess the way around. it was a bit tight, but I judged I could get through, so proceeded between the cars with the intention of continuing the journey along the green arrow.

As I got to position 3, I clipped the wing mirror of the car on the right with my hand, wobbled, and then rather inelegantly fell of at position 4. Hmmm. Perhaps not as much space as I thought.

My first thought was that I might have damaged one of the cars; and that at least I had insurance. The guy’s mirror was bent back, so I pushed it back into place and checked it – no damage it seemed. I also checked the front of the car on the left as I had fallen against it – no damage there either. Phew.

The guy in the car I had clipped opened his window.

“Sorry, sorry”, I gabbled, “There’s no damage, it all looks fine. Sorry about that, Sorry.”

“Never mind that”, he said with a concerned tone, ‘Are you all right?”

I looked at him uncomprehendingly for a moment. What was he saying? Surely his car was the most important thing, and then a rant at me for being a scofflaw cyclist. It finally sunk into my brain that he was worried about my welfare. Extraordinary.

“Erm, yes, I’m fine. Absolutely fine. Erm, sorry about that. Bit stupid there.”

He smiled at me, I wheeled the bike to the side of the road, and the traffic moved on.

So I suppose there is a positive to this story after all. There are some jolly nice people out there, it seems. Don’t let the tiny minority of nasty ones get you down.

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