It is a reflection of our social media age that a whole new variant of our old friend the MGIF has emerged. MGIF stands for ‘Must Get In Front’ and is the driver who cannot stand to be behind a bicycle even if that bicycle is not holding them up at all, and who overtakes only to to then turn off right in front of you, slam on the brakes because of an oncoming car, or even pull in at the next driveway. But today I encountered a new variant, a driver who squeezed past me where there wasn’t room as we came up to a roundabout, and then sat there in front of me like a great motorised lubbock while tumbleweed blew past on the roundabout ahead, clearly more focused on their phone than, you know, not holding up the cyclist whose life they’d just endangered. I would have passed, but there are drivers you want to keep where you can see them, rather than have them behind you trying to remember how to spell ‘LOL’ as they drive.
There are cyclists who rail at pedestrians who wander all over shared use pathways, more focused on their screens than looking where they’re going or noticing what’s coming up behind them, but not me. Even though it means I have to pass them as slowly and carefully as I might pass a drunk toddler carrying a Ming vase, I am as solicitous of their safety as if I were their mother. Because every such pedestrian, annoying as they are, is one fewer person who is doing the same thing behind the wheel. And that is how I would like them to stay.
*Must Get in Front to Check My Email at the Next Junction**
** although obviously it just as easily could be them checking to see if anyone had responded to their tweet about how they hate cyclists who ride in the middle of the road slowing them down.