You are cycling along the road, minding your own business enjoying your cycle to work. Suddenly a car sweeps past too close, or cuts you up. Their rush to get past you is thwarted by the queue at the traffic lights 50m ahead. A conversation is struck up about the quality of the driving. There is no swearing or shouting, but a slightly heated exchange about the driving in question.
Road user who is cycling: Do you realise you were too close?
Road user who is driving: No I wasn't.
Road user who is cycling: You might not think so inside your nice safe metal box, but I can assure you that was too close.
Road user who is driving: You were wobbling all over the road.....anyway....
(and here comes the doozy)
Road user who is driving: .....I'm a cyclist myself.
I'm a cyclist myself.
If I had a penny for every time I've heard that phrase I'd be rich....ok not rich as such, but I'd certainly have a few bob more. I'm a cyclist myself seems to be a magical phrase that is used by road users who are driving as a, protective force field. They think that by using that phrase the road user on the bike will suddenly think to themselves,
Oh wait a minute, that person in the car has sat astride a bike before, therefore they know exactly how much space a cyclist needs and my impression that the car was too close must be totally wrong. How silly of me. Time for a big apology.....
As people who drive and prefer to associate themselves with those that drive, rather than those that cycle (have you noticed I'm avoiding using driver and cyclist as my own descriptions) often suggest, some people who ride bikes are rubbish. In fact some people on bikes have absolutely no idea whatsoever how to cycle in such a way to keep themselves safe on the road (they shouldn't have to of course, but that's another issue...). I have seen plenty of examples of people who are on bikes, where they are completely unaware of how close a pass was, or how close they were to being knocked off. In fact one of my very earliest videos provided a good example of this.
This cyclist was completely unaware and completely disinterested that they were very close to being knocked off.
Some road users who cycle are pants.
So when a driver mentions to me that I'm a cyclist myself it means diddly squat with regards to their comprehension about what a road user on a bike needs or doesn't need with regards to space, time etc. The information I need to know is, are you a good road user or are you a bad road user. I have no interest in whether you once rode a bike at Centre Parcs.
The above video has been made private as requested by the driver in the video. The driver proved to me who they were, and the reasons for the request were reasonable. Unfortunately I cannot provide any further information on the reasons that the driver provided for it's removal.
So when this lady recently said to me I'm a cyclist myself I pointed out to her, that she is also a driver, but that doesn't mean she is a good driver. The lady in the above clip made a couple of accusations, one of which you can actually hear at the very end. She claims I pulled out. She also earlier claimed (though you can't hear this) that I did not shoulder check. I think it is pretty clear from the footage above that I didn't pull out (in fact I swerved left into a pot hole) and that I was shoulder checking a fair amount.
Was she lying? Possibly not. I suspect that she thought that what she said was true. Remember, she was nice and safe and snug in that warm metal box. I suspect that she wasn't paying quite as much attention to her surroundings as I was. I suspect that she only became aware of an issue after I shouted at her. I suspect that at that point her brain, devoid of any detailed information from the proceeding seconds found that it needed to justify her actions and did so by suggesting to her that I must have pulled out and I must not have been looking.
It must have been my fault. I am a cyclist after all.