Monday, I was at a meeting to discuss cycle routes for a map to be produced by West Sussex County Council. Looking at and knowing the town, other than the Prom, there are no possible safe cycle routes to be recommended to novices, children and families to ride, however, we did our best to look for all the cut-throughs, quiet roads and footpaths that we would suggest as a safe way to get around town.
On the way home, I, the experience cyclist with 150 lumens of headlight, three rear lights, flouro jacket and reflective ankle bands was taken out by a car. I was broadsided by a young lad. What chance children and new cyclists in Worthing? The worse thing was that this young man was not being unduly reckless, fortunately, and so was pulling out cautiously. Why cautiously? Because he couldn’t see! Unlike cyclists drivers have problems seeing. Cars are designed to go in a straight line. That is why they have windscreen wipers and blowers for the windscreen. Anyone foolish enough to want to turn will have to look out of a window without wipers, through a door pillar and probably through a steamed up pane. I am surprised that in 2013 cars have not advance but gone backwards in the last 100 years. At least in 1913 most vehicles didn’t have door windows.
I was hit full on from the side, I bounced onto the bonnet and hit the windscreen. The young lad’s excuse was that he didn’t see me. I was right in front of him! He was misted up and it was raining. He was doing what any well trained British driver would do at a roundabout. And that is to dash out as soon as they guess that it is clear. You should see the fun that we have watching the moron’s passing the shop all day every day on the roundabout outside the shop. A moron is a normal, nice British man or women that has grabbed a steering wheel, they even have children and loved ones. It is just that once they touch that steering wheel their brain cells cease to work.
It’s a horrible thing to think that any normal British driver has a very good chance of killing a cyclist or pedestrian just by driving the way that everyone else does. Where have we gone wrong? Perhaps, making our roads the safest in Europe for the two people in the front of a car was a bad move. Do you think that if drivers felt more vulnerable that they would be more cautious. Lets ban seatbelts, airbags and side impact bars.
The police are not going to do anything about the eighteen year old even though he admitted driving without due care and attention. He said that the car was too steamed up to see. My bike survived and I have little more than a few bruises and a loss of nerve so I am not claiming. If I made a claim I’d have destroyed the family. They cannot afford an increase in insurance and would never have been able to pay me for any damage or injury. I, however, am doubly insured with British Cycling and the Cyclist Touring Club. I shall have to take matters into my own hand. I shall write to him explaining what might have befallen them.
Worthing is the most dangerous town in West Sussex for non motorists so the powers that be have decided that we need to restrict speeds to 20mph. West Sussex County Council has produced a map of the town showing the suggested areas to have the 20mph limit and the roads excluded. If you have never visited the town you may well have suggested the very same routes to be excluded. A Worthing resident that has neither driven, cycled nor walked round the town may have recommended the same roads. However, many of the roads excluded from the 20mph limit are either slower, already some of the most dangerous or have schools on them. Click for more on 20splentyforworthing.
I finished my week with two three and a half hour rides. On Saturday I lead a shop ride with some of the riders getting a little tired. I could sympathise as the same thing happens to me today, I struggled home. Here are the rides: Shop MTB mixed ride, Sunday ride.