It’s a normal morning, the traffic is reasonable, the roads are a little damp, but what wind there is is, gratifyingly, mainly a tail. So far, so typical.
I’m ticking along the Embankment just along from the Chelsea Physic Garden. There’s a car next to me who I’ve been tracking for about half a mile and a lorry just in front of us. I’m being cautious with the lorry but the traffic is slowing ahead because of the lights on the south end of Chelsea Bridge, so I do go up his nearside. The visibility is good, he’s not obviously making any leftward intentions and I’m mindful that while this isn’t always advisable, I’m carrying enough speed that I’ll only be beside him for a couple of seconds and there seems to be plenty of space.
So now I’m in front of him and, as there often is, there’s a police check of some description in the lay-by behind the Royal Hospital.
So there’s a copper who has decided that the lorry behind me is to be pulled over. Pop-quiz, what does he do? Yes, children, he walks straight out into the road in front of me. Now, we all know that’s dangerous, don’t we?
Nice work fella. I’m doing 35kph+, it’s reasonably light by now and I’m well lit; there is no excuse. You give me about 18 inches of gap, but you are still moving out and you’re not even looking at me. You give me no indication that you are treating me safely, you’re waving at the lorry and moving to intercept him, through me.
You’ve got a job to do, but that is a classic example of what cyclists have to put up with. This traffic cop has no empathy with my situation; most drivers don’t.
That road is a busy cycle route into town and, at that time of the morning, is chock full of both cyclists and vehicles. Not that this copper apparently understands that.
[Video to follow.]