Blog - BS Data, hackery, stories

Cycling IV - you could have died

This evening, two people braked just in time.

Two people saved a young man's life.


Monument Underground station. This young cyclist jumps the red light and forces his way through incoming traffic. Clearly out of place, out of shape, with no style whatsoever. A properly suicidal move. He hardly swerves as this lorry's bumper approaches at speed. He's blocked on his left-hand side by a kerb in the middle of the junction.

"Idiot," I think. "Stupid idiot." He's not one of those cat-in-traffic couriers that fit smoothly through the tiniest gaps. He's got no idea what he's doing.

The garbage truck brakes. Inches away. The cabin tilts forwards. And the cyclist continues on this way.

I decide to follow him to tell him off. To tell him how lucky he is to be alive.
Also, following is safer than overtaking such a menace.

A London black cab and double decker bus through Bishopsgate

Two minutes later, Bishopsgate, northbound, 7pm. Rush hour. Cars everywhere, already-three-pints-in zombies crossing the road in front of Leadenhall Market while staring at their phone.

He's in between lanes, as we all sort of are. But with very, very little space to clear that bus heading towards him.

His foot is off the pedal. "Is that twat hitting this car's bumper, seriously?"

Split second. Somehow, his body is projected forward, over the handlebars. The white Prius behind him stops on the spot. He hits the ground hard and rolls over. I know the car didn't touch him.

I stop in front of it, unclip, raise my hand in the air to halt the two lanes of traffic and mopeds coming, as some kind folks help him up and pull his superb Cinelli frame out of danger. I feel silly putting myself in danger for this nutter, but I feel even more silly thinking this.

We stay together for a moment. He says he's okay.

"No one's fault but mine," he confesses.

Yeah, pretty much.

Thank those people you showed no respect for. I hope you made it safely to Broadway Market.