This morning on my way into work I had a rather close shave, that could have so easily have turned out badly. I was going round the block just South of London Bridge to negotiate the one way system on Bermondsey Street. Picture me, stationary at a T-junction ready to pull out and turn left, looking right, waiting for a clear gap in the traffic. Also to my right, is a zebra crossing with some vehicles just pulling away as some pedestrians finish crossing.
A scooter comes along, indicates to turn left into the road I’m on, but as he turns, all of a sudden a cyclist comes bombing along on the inside and slams into the side of the scooter, sending him flying towards me! Thankfully the scooter rider manages to remain up right and came to a halt inches from me. The cyclist? Checks he’s OK, apologies, said he didn’t see him indicating, then zooms off.
Obviously, the cyclist was at fault for undertaking. The scooter probably should have done a left shoulder life saver as he pulled away from the pedestrian crossing and about to turn left. As for me, I’m not what I could have done. I couldn’t have pulled out to avoid the scooter, I would have gone into other traffic behind the scooter. What would you have done?
Had a really close shave this morning. On my way into town, with Mary pillion, going down A13 as it crosses junction to Blackwall tunnel, I pull up at some red traffic lights. I filter so far between the two lanes of traffic, but have to come to a halt due to lack of room. I’m a bit hemmed in, sitting between the lanes behind a couple of cars, but everything is stationary. The lights turn green and whilst I’m waiting for the traffic in front to move, the people carrier in front to my right, rolls backwards towards me. Not just an inch or two, but a good metre or so. I have to lean the bike right over on my left leg to dodge it, they still clip my mirror and continue rolling backwards right alongside me as I hammer the side of the car!
A couple of centimetres closer and they would undoubtedly have pushed us over into the near side lane of moving traffic. Good job my right hand foot was on the brake or they would have rolled over it. It turns out the car had Polish plate and was left hand drive, but still no reason why he didn’t see us in his mirror, I could see him fine… And certainly no excuse to roll backwards so far.
Not sure what there is to learn from this one. Had I not been between lanes, they would have rolled right into us and done serious damage. Tricky one. There’s no accounting for incompetence on the roads.
Took a day off work today to sort out some loose ends, however this afternoon made for an impromptu ride out into Essex. Weather was perfect, bit overcast, but warm and calm. With my wife, Mary pillion we sent off from Dagenham, with a plan to get a late lunch at Pizza Express in Baintree. Our route consisted of:
A112 to Hainault
A113 to Stapleford Abbotts (possibly cutting through Lamboune End)
Everyone wants to find cheap bike insurance, of course, but you really need to know what types of things can help you get this low-cost coverage if you want it to be a reality. There are certain things that you can do to drive the cost down. People often do not know that it is within their power to reduce their own payments. It is also within their power to raise their payments. Rarely do two people pay exactly the same amount of money each month, so you need to know how to act so that your payments can be on the low end and not the high end.
Most bikes have a small storage compartment under the seat, ideal for essential kit for them tricky emergencies. You probably already have the factory supplied mini tool kit in there, so here I’m going to go over other useful kit you should pack on an every day basis. Some I’ve found useful myself, some I’ve been recommended by others.
Stumbled across this excellent YouTube video today. Certainly not for the faint hearted, but there’s some definitely lessons to be learnt from the unfortunate accidents shown. Not easy viewing, but do try to avoid repeating their mistakes on the road yourself.
A large number of these accidents are down to aggressive filtering, often on the inside and general lack of perception and anticipation of upcoming hazards. It may be easy to spot these errors watching the video, but many of the riders had too much speed for the conditions/hazards around them, leaving them no time to react. There’s also an awful lot of riders seriously lacking protective clothing – they’re really gonna be hurting!
On the back of the excellent BikeSafe course I did on Saturday, already I’ve found one of the tips covered useful and prevented a potentially hairy situation.
Riding home in the dark, along a quiet tree lined avenue, I spotted up ahead the nose of a car protruding from a junction. Its indicator was flashing to turn right across my path and was slowly creeping out. I changed position, moving out towards the centre of the road, to make myself visible around the tree. The car hit the brakes and waited for me to pass.
It was a simple trick, being aware the tree was blocking the line of sight between myself and the car driver, and changing position accordingly. But had I not moved out the car driver would not have seen me until much later, and likely would have pulled out in front of me.
So, tip of the day, position yourself to be scene. Consider what may obscure you.
Distinctly frosty and foggy this morning. But once wrapped up warm, it was a good ride into work. So glad I’ve got my heated gloves and Pinlock visor. I do like riding into London on a foggy day, coming in past Canary Wharf, with just a sun blinding glint coming out of the fog where some skyscraper is hidden. The Shard (pictured) was particularly dazzling as it poked out above the fog, and just the top most floors visible and catching the sun.
This shot of the Shard was taken from just off Bermondsey Street.
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London