It’s March and I’ve now been wearing my heated gloves for what feels like forever (I was tempted to say, since November but that technically wouldn’t be correct ‘cos there was that couple of months I didn’t ride).
Don’t get me wrong, I totally love my heated gloves – there is no way I could ride during the winter months without them, however it’s a bit of a faff to get wired up every time I get on my bike and it’s synonymous with winter…
Anyway, today, at work, chatting to the lovely lady who looks after the coffee machines, and she started to talk about her son who has recently got in to biking as a cheaper alternative to using a car for commuting.
I point out that the cost of a bike and full kit can set you back the price of a small car but it can me immensely enjoyable.
“I know what you mean, he loves it but he really suffers with the cold in his hands. He has a lot of scar tissue and has arthritis and sometimes he’s nearly in tears with the cold and pain. Even the hand warmers he puts in his gloves don’t help, especially on the motorway.”
“Heated grips?” I asked.
“Yes, but they don’t keep his hands warm.”
“Heated gloves then is what he wants.” I replied.
“Can you get such things? I’ve never heard of them.”
Well, not being a biker, I’m not too surprised at that, so I nip back to my desk and print off some pages from the Internet about various different heated gloves. I also include a £5 pair of silk inner gloves.
” These look great! Thank you! But why the silk gloves?”
From my experience I’ve found the heated gloves to be fantastic but they don’t have a thermostatic control on them – its on or off – and as the revs go up, the hotter the gloves get to point where they are too hot! So, a thin pair of silk gloves just stops your hands from getting cooked.
“I’m going to buy these for my son”, she said, very happy about it. “I’m so glad I stopped to chat with you.”
Oh we’ll, first time for everything I guess.
Slowly growing in confidence on my bike (although not too great at filtering ‘cos the other month I accidentally hit a wing mirror and had a very angry car driver chase me for a couple of miles, nearly knocking me off), so I am very careful not to do that again!
But when the lights are red and there’s ample room, I will filter to the front – only today, a Lexus driver took great exception to this.
As I pulled away, the 4×4 driver decided that he wanted to get a lift on my back seat. It’s a 30 mph zone so I’m going at 30, until it opens up to a 40. By now, it’s clear that me getting in front of him has monumentally pissed him off and he’s bullying me.
The road is clear but it’s foggy and visibility is poor. I look for somewhere on the road so I can pull over and let him pass me but it’s not really conducive to it and he’s so close to me, I’m actually quite scared.
I catch up with the traffic in front of us and now I’m going as fast as the rest of it, but still he’s just a couple of feet off my back tyre. The road opens up wide in a corner and he over takes me just to slam his brakes on as he pulls in front because of traffic. His over taking manoeuvre had pushed me to the side of the road and in to a massive pot hole so my bike had a major wobble and again, scared the crap out of me but at least the prick was in front of me.
A few minutes later, and he’s stuck in the queuing traffic so I just filter on slowly past the line of cars just for him to jump on his horn as I pass him.
Very confused as to what I’m supposed to have done, I carry on carefully to the front of traffic.
Thinking that I’m so far in front I had lost him, you can imagine my shock to look in my mirror to see him gaining speed on me as he clearly uses the on coming lane to overtake the queue to get close to me!
This time we’re on to a dual carriageway and again, he’s feet away from me, chasing me. There is no way for me to pull over so I end up making some ridiculous moves in and out of busy traffic, changing lanes quickly, just to have him try and follow. I even shot in front of a sports bike messing his lines up but I think he got the picture when Lexus man came through in hot pursuit. I finally managed to lose him at a set of cross roads as I turned off the dual carriageway.
By this time I think I was in tears, I was so scared and wishing the Lexus driver a speedy death. I thought I had memorised most of his number plate and was tempted to call the police when I got in to work, but really, what would they do?
My work colleagues encouraged me to report this driver, but remembering the lack of interest from when my R6 was stolen (“Is it insured? Then it’s not really a crime”) and the fact that it would have been my word against his, I didn’t bother.
So why did this happen? I didn’t do anything to warrant this aggression other than having more momentum than him at a set of traffic lights. I didn’t twat his wing mirror like I did the other month to a different driver, and I don’t believe I have sacrificed his first-born child on a burning altar. Yet he seemed quite intent on either inflicting a lot of pain on me if not actually managing to kill me.
My conclusion: some people are just born c$*%s…