It’s going to be one of those days. The lights are against me and the ire of my fellow road users is palpable, real. Whether they’re on their bike (like me), scooter, motorbike, car, bus, huge massive tipper truck. Everyone is angry this morning. The mood on the road is dark, impatient, tetchy with an air of ‘get out of my way’ and ‘I don’t care if I run you over’. It’s not all directed at me. Or at least I hope not. There’s motorists hating cyclist and vice versa. Everyone hating buses. Cyclists hating cyclists – Yes, this does happen.
When irascibility mixes with the traffic fumes, we can turn on each other. It must be the lighter mornings and brighter evenings as there are a lot more of us all of a sudden, an uncoordinated swarm of buzzing, fluorescent, light-blinking wasps, fighting it out for safe space on the road – out of the gutter, racing between curb and vehicle or worse between vehicle and vehicle. All of us, at multiple speeds, the fast intimidating the slow with aggressive fly-bys and the slow weaving an unpredictable path. It’s a mess.
The new cycle super highway on the Embankment isn’t going to make the morning/evening cycle-scrum any better either – and we cyclists won’t have anyone to blame but ourselves as we crash into each other, trade bitter insults and give fuel to those who say cyclists are selfish and lawless (the ones watching from behind their steering wheels, static in the nose to tail traffic jam on the newly single-lane carriage way. That’s my cheerful Doomsday scenario as I battle it out on my morning commute.
It’s not always like this, sometimes it’s quite good fun.