So there I was, cycling along the other day, minding my own business, when I heard a car coming up behind me. I was getting to the crest of a hill and the road was narrow, so I didn’t want to be overtaken and have to slow down or stop until I’d reached the top. There’s two schools of thought on turning to look at drivers when you’re on a bike. One says that by showing them your face they stop thinking of you as a ‘bloody cyclist’ and start thinking of you as a human being and are therefore more likely to give you space on the road and not barge past you. The second school of thought is that by turning and looking you’re signalling you’ve seen them* and you want them to pass. In my experience, the latter is more common, and something about this car – the way tinny R’n'B was pounding out of its windows for a start – made me want to take no chances. So I held my line and didn’t look and I was a little surprised when it waited patiently behind me for the last few yards of the hill and even when I’d reached the top and pulled in so it could pass it still seemed to hesitate.
Finally, it roared past and the first thing I saw of it was the lad hanging out of the side window giving me a broad grin and a thumbs up. Which was nice, and distracted me for a second from his mate in the front passenger seat who was waving a golf club – I think it was a 3 wood – out of the window.
Quite apart from my first reaction – which was basically WTF? – this does go to show that golf really is an inclusive sport up here in Scotland. And my second thought was that thank goodness I wasn’t wearing a helmet, because otherwise they might have mistaken my head for a ball…
*Just a note to any non-cyclist drivers reading this: if you’re coming up behind us in a car, we’ve heard you, probably long before you’ve noticed us, and we don’t actually need to look. Particularly if you’ve got the tinny R’n'B thing going on