The first junction on my London commute is not an easy one – it’s a stop line, downhill onto a main road with a zebra crossing on the right and a bus stop on the left. Some mornings I am bright, with-it and can spot a marginal gap and whiz straight over. Some mornings, like today, I am tired and dopey and need to wait for both lanes to be clear to avoid becoming roadkill. This means that the cars behind me, who like to bully their way across the first lane and then mow down any pedestrians on the crossing, get impatient.
So this morning, I’m waiting for my opportunity, and the driver of the car behind starts to honk his horn at me. I give him the universal hand signal. He gets out of the car, walks up to me and spits in my face, shouting “learn some manners.”
Which would be ironic, if it wasn’t quite so disgusting.
There are three morals from this story.
The first is, always ride with your visor down.
The second is, don’t reciprocate when faced with aggro – David Hough is absolutely clear on this in Proficient Motorcycling, a book I like a lot, and to which I should clearly pay more attention.
And the third is that, thanks to a very kind and concerned man who let me use his bathroom to clean up, I may no longer covered in someone else’s saliva but the man who thinks it is OK to gob on lady bikers (or, indeed, bikers in general) is still a tosser.