one day like this


You find me in reflective mood this evening…

On this morning’s commute, a BMW driver took what I can only describe as an irrational dislike to me and, not content with taking one swipe at me, decided I had no right to be on the road at all. Much to the confusion of every other road user around us, I might add.

As I calmly asked him if there was some kind of of problem, he continued to shout obscenities at me through the safety of his closed window which he refused to open… quite what his problem was, I do not know.

On another day, I may well have taken the bait and retaliated but, not today. I simply waved him by and carried on, obeying the rules of the road as he chose not to.

12 hours later, I still have no idea what his problem was… don’t get me wrong, I have my own anger management issues of which I am all too aware but this guy brought a whole new meaning to ‘irrational’.

Why am I blathering on about this nonsense? Well, on the same day I experienced what I can only describe as pure, pathological hatred for cycling, I also heard this song which reminded of the absolute opposite end of the spectrum and what I can only describe as the pure, simple therapeutic effect cycling can have.

6770_119490944862_7697128_nThis is my dear friend Ruth.

Ruth knew the location of a secret orchard where we scrumped apples & blackberries to make The. Best. Crumble. Ever.

Ruth was a ‘Bike It Lady’ and taught kids in schools how to fix punctures, how to ride safely and how to fasten a helmet.

Ruth loved to ride her bike(s), very often with trailer in tow – on this scrumping trip, I was towing it and you can just see her crutches poking out at the very bottom of the picture.

You see, Ruth suffered from cancer and was cruelly taken from us far too soon. But did cancer stop her from cycling? Did it hell. In fact, I reckon her absolute defiance to quit cycling even when she wasn’t strong enough to walk was one of the things that kept her with us just that little bit longer.

In the midst of it all, despite cancer’s best efforts, she’d wake up, throw those curtains wide, stick her crutches in the trailer and head out to teach kids about cycling.

This was one of my last rides with Ruth. I shall remember it always.


4 thoughts on “one day like this

  1. You inconsiderate cyclist!
    He’s paid a lot of money for that car and he pays road tax but you don’t so in future stay off his road.

    I’ve had days where I’ve been abused for no reason too. I’ve also had various nasty people pick fights with me. Fortunately no physical harm done, I try to avoid conflict when it escalates, having not thrown a punch since early teens, I’m not that kind of guy. (P.s. Worth noting this applies to being on a bike or driving my car, it’s not just a cycling thing.)

    I once told an old lady off at a set of lights for not leaving enough room, for which I felt bad about when I realised her age, but thinking about it she’s the only one where I think the bad driving towards me was accidental, most is deliberate and without reason.

    Indeed these attacks are too frequent, if I thought the police cared, I would buy a camera or five (four for my car) then report these people. Road safety is a low priority and the laws are pathetic with barely any punishment.

    I could say much more, but I don’t want to focus too much on the attacks. I use the word attack because they are deliberate personal attacks, in my view, bad driving is not indicating etc.

    Cycling has much more to offer than other sports, it’s cheaper and less harmful to your body than most sports, if you cycle commute then there are real cost savings too, giving you more money to spend on cycling!

    Utopia of course is a driver free road (google cars or whatever of the future are welcome). Out of town is as close as we can get and it sounds like you had some lovely rides with your friend, cherish the memories from then and indeed every moment that makes the bad days worth it…. because one day you won’t be allowed to cycle on Mr BMW’s road!

  2. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, If I’d had people like you and Ruth to cycle with instead of my family, I might really have been a cyclist.

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