You've not read it?! Oh....you can read it here.
Pretty shocking, isn't it?
Ok, so it was probably a one off. Attitudes similar to that are pretty rare. No-one else in a liveried vehicle would act like that surely?
Oh, ok, so there are plenty of drivers who will try to push through where there is no space and there is no actual gain in pushing through. They haven't actually responded in a similar way........have they?!
On this particular occasion I e-mailed the 'gentleman' about the incident before I had had a chance to edit the video. I wanted to make sure that the incident was fresh in his memory when he read my questions. I must admit though, I actually thought this 'gentleman' wouldn't respond.
This was my e-mail to him:
Dear John,To the point, but polite I think.
I am sure you remember me from earlier on today. I was the cyclist who
spoke to you on Balshagray Avenue this morning at about 8:30am. I asked
you why you felt it necessary to drive so close to me. As we didn't have
time to finish our conversation I was wondering, could you please let me
know why you drove in that manner and why you felt it was necessary to
drive less than a car length from my back wheel? Why did you also feel
the need cut in very sharply after overtaking me?
I look forward to receiving your reply.
Later that evening I managed to edit the video and put it online.
I received the following reply....:
Ok, let's break this down.Mr Brennan,We seam clearly have different opinions on this said 'incident'. Why you suddenly jolted from the left side of the lane into the middle of the road as l was about to overtake is beyond my reckoning then give out gesticulations at rush hour? 1st rule of the road - keep left! You state that l cut back in sharply as I did overtake but not to my knowledge. If l did get too close then l apologise as it was most certainly not my intention to do so. Respect of the road and consideration to other users comes from both sides Mr Brennan not just for bikes.I noticed that you have got your social media friends to do your dirty work for you on your say so (two sides to every story ) but where l come from real men deal with these things themselves.I cosider the 'incident' and this conversation closed and the whole matter a misnomer.I bid you a good day and safe travels in the future.Regards
Why you suddenly jolted from the left side of the lane
Did anyone see me jolt? Anyone? Go and have a look at the video. Watch it as closely as possible. Watch particularly the rear footage which shows the tracking of my rear wheel and thus provides a good reference point for my position on the carriageway.
Do you see it?
Ah yes, I see it now. I do jolt, at approximately 2:19......Yes, I jolt towards the kerb, not out into the middle of the lane as John suggests. I did this because he started overtaking rather close and I felt the need to use my escape space....yes the space I create for myself by taking the road position I do.....to keep out of harms way.
I'm not sure why that jolt is beyond reckoning....
Gesticulations at rush hour.
I must admit I am a bit confused by this one. Is John suggesting that gesticulating at other times is acceptable, but not at rush hour? Is it that gesticulations, i.e. palm back towards the driver trying to dangerously overtake, is unacceptable? Should I keep my head down, keep quiet and let John drive through me?
Perhaps indicating isn't allowed either. That might make sense as John doesn't employ that technique here.
1st rule of the road - keep left!
Umm, errr......I'm assuming John means here that I should be keeping to the left of the lane. I've had good look at the highway code cyclists section and I cannot for the life of me find this rule 1 or in fact any rule that suggests that I should be cycling on the left, especially on a dual carriageway such as this. I can, though find a very interesting rule suggesting that drivers should give cyclists 'at least' as much room as a car when overtaking. Something like this....
Not sure how John would have been able to pass me with the car in the other lane, without crossing the lane separator and have left me as much room as in the picture above. Hmmm..
You state that l cut back in sharply as I did overtake but not to my knowledge.
I think it's pretty obvious from the footage that John did indeed cut in rather sharp. It is my opinion, and it is only an opinion, that John did this to make a point. If however, this was not the case, then the driving was just crap. Very crap. Simple as. Yes there is an apology there, but as he does not accept that he did it, the apology is very hollow.
Respect of the road and consideration to other users comes from both sides Mr Brennan not just for bikes.
So John, exactly where did I not show you 'respect'. Was it when I dared to filter past about a mile of traffic and end up in front of you? Was it when I was 'gesticulating' for you to not run me off the road? Was it when I dared not to move out of your God given right to take up the road that I was occupying?
Exactly where did you show me respect? Not my bike, as you suggest, but me? Where does your 'respect' take into account that you have a large metal cage surrounding you and I don't? Where exactly?
I noticed that you have got your social media friends to do your dirty work for you on your say so (two sides to every story ) but where l come from real men deal with these things themselves.
I can only assume that after I posted the video, some people contacted you. If they were abusive, I'm sorry to hear that. I do not condone that and I ask that if and when people contact drivers in my videos that they do so respectfully. However, I do not in any way take responsibilities for their actions. We are all responsible for our own actions, aren't we John?
In that regard, I will post this follow up e-mail that John wished me to share with you:
Additionally Mr Brennan,
I respectfully ask you to get your friends to retract comments made which l consider tantamount to slander based on no knowledge or facts.
As for suggesting I'm not a real man.....pfft. Enough said.
I'm not entirely sure how an incident....sorry, 'incident' as John likes to label it, can be considered a misnomer.....oh wait, I get it, he considers that labeling this an incident is wrong. Hmm. Perhaps in your eyes John, but then, as mentioned above, you were surrounded by a big metal cage and I wasn't. You were in no danger whatsoever, and I was. Thus I have to say, it isn't your place to suggest this incident is closed. Far, FAR from it...
It will be closed when you agree you were too close. Would you drive that close to a family member of yours for instance? Would you be happy for your fellow passenger to be cycling on that road with people driving that close to them? Do you honestly think there was enough room to pass me safely within that lane? What would you have done had I not gesticulated? Would you have kept going?
If so, why not come out for a cycle with me John. Come commute with me to work. Let's see how you like 'incidents'. This is a real offer.
Is there a moral that we can learn from this story? I think there is. This is a driver who has been trained. He has passed a test. At some point he possibly even read the highway code, though he has a very poor recollection of it. He is licenced and insured. He pays tax. (Then again we all do....). He drives a van that advertises who he is and how to contact him. Yet, he still drives like this and has the arrogance to suggest that there was no incident and that I should be over on the left to let him pass me unsafely.
Education, licencing etc might work on some, but there will always be drivers who will take liberties with others safety because they feel aggrieved in some way. A road like this will never be safe for all.
We need to design the effects of bad driving and bad drivers out of our road. We need to make hard decisions and we need to invest in people friendly, not car/van/bus/HGV friendly infrastructure. That is why Pedal on Parliament needs your support, and needs it now.
Stop accepting that this is just the way it is. Stop accepting the lot we are given. Make your voice heard. Come to POP on the 25th April 2015 in Edinburgh.
Will I see you there John?