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OPINION

Where did the respect go?

I dithered over whether to get the bike out this morning and ride with the continuing strong winds now coupled with sharp showers and slick roads.

I should have heeded my initial thoughts and pulled the duvet back over my head. Instead, I headed into the kitchen to prepare my bike. Sadly my Bianchi had somehow developed a popped spoke in the front wheel, which annoyed me.

So the Orbea, still dirtied and grimy from its last outing had air pumped into the tyres and the GPS swapped from the other handle bars before I set out.

The stretch down the A15 from Yaxley to the A1 is getting stupidly dangerous for those on two wheels now. I can say with reasonable authority that it is simply a matter of time before a motorist grabbing the opportunity to put their foot down between the end of the 40mph zone and the A1M kills someone on a bike.

I want to apologise to all motorists for being on that road and only travelling at about 20mph. I apologise for you maybe having to add 5 seconds on to your journey to pass me if there is something is coming the other way.

What it doesn't give you the right to do is not slow down and whizz by my right elbow at 60mph. One of these days, one of you will hit a cyclist and you will kill them...

I got to the elevated roundabout over the A1 with only four near misses this morning but my instinct told me the Fiesta haring up the slip road would not be stopping even though I had right of way on the roundabout. It was a brilliant decision that probably saved him from screeching his tyres and/or hitting me. I was shaken.

As I got to the lanes and computed the eventful first two miles in my head I decided that things needed to change for me. I am not sure that I should have to change my routine to accommodate bad and inconsiderate other road users but I was angry and I don't want to make a rash decision and put my bikes on Ebay.

The rest of the ride passed with my looking for places to drive to with the bike in the car to ride out from. So much for cycling being environmentally friendly eh?

But this morning even the lanes were going to test my brakes.

As I headed back through Folksworth a group of Triumph Spitfire cars were turning right on their way up to Morborne. Four of them went across, the fourth causing me to reach for the brakes. That there was a fifth that also just turned right in my path left me astonished, scared and as agast as the man walking his dog who saw it all.

What scared me the most was the anger in the eyes of the man who had nearly cut me down. He shrieked at me like I was a criminal.

I am not sure how much longer I can keep doing this when other road users have total disregard for cyclists lives.

Would he have called me a F****** B****** if I had been under his front axle?

(Apologies if this is a bit raw but emotions are high)

James has been blogging for road.cc for 5 years and racing bicycles (averagely) for 20 years. 

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