Like being crushed to death by one of our lorries
Yesterday I was cycling home from Sainsbury’s with my Brompton bag full of groceries. It was on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield at around 5pm, Saturday 6 June 2009. This is a wide main road where traffic moves quite slowly due to congestion. Normally I can cycle much faster than the cars, on this occasion it was quieter so the motors were a bit faster than me although I caught up again at the traffic lights (several of those).
A Sainsbury’s HGV came up behind and decided to overtake. One just like this:
Frankly he didn’t have a chance of getting past. The road was getting narrow, he was coming up behind slower cars in front and he started to pull in on me while I was still ahead of his rear wheels and he was slowing down to below my speed. It was very scary, especially as I’d recently heard that the biggest single cause of cyclists deaths was being crushed on the nearside of HGVs like this one.
I survived and passed him while he was stopped at the next lights. OK maybe I should have just hung back but I have a right to make progress on the road, it’s not cyclists that cause the congestion and my grocery money was paying his wages.
I decided that I had to take control so I positioned myself well out in the centre of the lane and would not let him pass me until I was certain that he had sufficient width and clear road ahead to do the job, after a couple of hundred yards I guess. Of course the pillock decided that he was going to get his own back and instead of pulling past slowed down alongside me and closed his 38 tons in on me. I dropped back but before long he was stopped at another light so I went up the outside and told him what I thought of him. He had the cheek to say that it was all right because he had indicated, the fact that I was trapped between him and the parked cars and was actually trying to stay ahead of his rear wheels obviously didn’t signify in his scheme of things.
As I’ve been shopping at Sainsbury’s since 1974 or thereabouts I’ve probably paid for that truck.