I feel like a real cyclist now! No, I don’t say any of this stuff that cyclists supposedly say (my version of the video would be full of things like ‘chocolate fetched by bicycle’s got no calories, right?’) but I have finally undergone a rite of passage that most cyclists seem to have to suffer on the road to becoming proper cyclists. I was riding back from Bigtown on Saturday, having been on a quest to track down The Last Guardian In Bigtownshire and was battling into the headwind and intermittent freezing cold rain shower when I heard a ‘beep’ behind me and turned round to look right into the eyes of a large furious man crammed into a tiny little Fiat, sitting right on my tail glaring at me. He was just at the point where the road calming consists of little ‘road cushions’ which mean that drivers have to absolutely hold their line if they’re going to drive fast enough to harrass cyclists without cracking their axles so he couldn’t overtake. I sped up as best I could (I didn’t want him bursting a blood vessel at the wheel) and then, as I got to the wider bit of the road, slowed up and moved over a little, anticipating he’d roar past me. Instead he hung on my tail and then turned left, winding down his window as he went to shout what could have been ‘get off the road’ but his enunciation was so poor that it could equally well have been ‘I have a very small penis’.
Now, other cyclists, particularly women, seem to get shouted at all the time but while I’ve had drivers do unpleasant things to me on the bike – mostly just casual assassination attempts, but occasionally something more bizarre – but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had them shout anything at me before, whether in London or up here. Of course, were I really a proper cyclist, I would have given chase (he was heading down a cul de sac) and explained to the gentleman why I had every right to be on the road, and to give him a chance to make the observation that I don’t pay road tax so that I could explain to him the subtler points of Vehicle Emission Duty, but I’m afraid I didn’t. Maybe I’ll save that pleasure for later, when it’s not so effing cold.