Thursday, 18 November 2010

Revenge of the BoBi - taking no prisoner

I was almost home. So close that I could actually see my building but there was still the new T-junction in the southern part of the Elephant and Castle to negotiate. The ride from Shoreditch had gone well and the bike was one of the smooth and responsive ones.

There was a bit of a jam at the light but they had just turned green and traffic was moving on. So was I at the same speed not blocking anybody's way. Or was I. As I was about to pass the lights, going straight in front of me down Newington Butts, a white van came rushing to my left clearly trying to overtake me to turn down the Walworth Road on the left, cutting my way and forcing me aside.

Earlier on Tower Bridge I had seen a 141 bus trying to do the same to another cyclist for about a quarter of the bridge, the driver using his horn to express his displeasure at the impudence of the cyclist who rightly was refusing to give way. Not such behaviour would happen if the bike was in fact a car.

Already slightly riled by the bridge incident, and having learnt in the past few month of using the BoBi that we are too easily ignored by certain drivers, I decided that enough was enough and that the van driver would not drive away freely. I gave a big resounding whack to the side of the van with my fist as I let him pass me by and then moved on. As I looked I saw that he had stopped a few metres away either wondering what had happened or more certainly wondering if he had hit me. He could not have ignored the fact of my presence.

Soon I heard him yelling and shouting but I was already riding away, my right arm raised, hoisting aloft the standard of my victory: my middle finger. And that felt good!

This was originally posted on 17 November on the BorisBike forum, here.


  1. This should be required reading for cyclists.

  2. you are too kind. if you follow the link at the end. you'll see that not everyone agrees, although I do think the more vociferous commenter is totally over reacting and (I think) shows that he didn't quite get the situation.


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