Some of you may know that I learned to cycle about nine months ago (you can read my disastrous start HERE). Learning how to cycle on the road was nerve-wracking, but since I started I have cycled 1189 miles. I cycle at least 6 miles a day everyday apart from Sunday. I’m also training for the London to Brighton bike ride for 2016.
I became addicted straight away, it was great to get to work more quickly (previously I would walk and it would take about an hour). I would cycle anywhere if I could get away with it.
That was until yesterday.
My route home is along a busy main road, often it is me versus an articulated lorry, trundling along, side by side. More often than not the traffic is backed up and I am stop starting my way along three miles of main road. There is a point where I have to stop, get off and push my bike across a crossing. I did that last night, like every night, the traffic had backed up, the vehicles had stopped. I pushed my bike across the crossing. The motorbike paid no attention and weaved his way in and out of the traffic and wasn’t looking.
I wear a neon pink cycling coat and you can’t miss me, my work husband says I look like a Pac-Man ghost walking into the office.
Anyway, he hit me, I have a perfect imprint of my bike pedals, chain, metal bar from my thigh to my ankle. I’m fine, cuts and bruises and I limped home but on the whole I’m physically fine. Mentally, I’m a little broken. He didn’t stop, he knew he hit me but still he didn’t stop. The builders in the truck were shouting ‘you alright love’ at me and as I stood there in the central part of the crossing not being able to move from shock. Other drivers who were slowly moving stopped and asked me the same question. It was heartening.
I’ll fast forward to this morning, I’m working and needed to cycle to work and now I have gone from loving being on a bike to being terrified. I stared at it, conscious that the clock was ticking, 05:55 turned into 06:10 before I had talked myself into getting on the narrow strip of metal.
I got on the bike and cycled to work and only stopped once to give myself a good talking to because I started to cry when a truck over took me too close and his back draft caused me to swerve harshly (it’s incredibly windy here today).
Will I ever get over this fear? I don’t know, but I do know I will keep going with cycling to work.
The next time you see a cyclist on the road please take care with them, they have zero protection and trust that you are looking where you are going.
Thanks for reading
2 thoughts on “Harper’s Harpings: Fear Factor”
Everyone has to pay attention, cars, people walking, or on cycle. Sometimes you may stand in “black” corners of a vehicle rearview mirrors and then I assure you the driver can’t do anything and just can’t see you if he happens to drive backwards or make some moves.
I am truly glad you get away in one piece this time. please be extra careful too, with all my friendly appreciation. 🙂
my only nightmare as a driver is to “get” a kid, because their parents didn’t pay attention and let them wander without consideration of the surroundings.
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What you say is good advice 💜