Risky Manoeuvres

I’m beind with updates again, including a big write up of our holiday exploits.

It’s been a busy week, and with a 15 hour day at work on Wednesday, I was due a few late morning in, so I’ve been making use of my longer, 8.5 mile commute to work.

I’ve had two little incidents that are worth writing up.

Yesterday I did something a bit silly. I was frustrated following a tractor that was doing about 12mph on a single track road. It’s was slightly downhill and the wind was behind me so I should have been able to do a steady 25mph, if not more. There were three cars backed up behind it and I was following behind them. I saw that the road was getting a bit wider, so I nipped up the outside of the cars and went for it to get past the tractor.

It was only when I pulled alongside that I noticed the road wasn’t too good at the edges. So here I am, on the road bike, riding over rough and unpredictable ground, with a great big tractor about 4 feet to my left.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but looking back on it I really scared myself. One wrong move and I was under a tractor wheel. I’ll be more careful next time.

So if Thursday’s ride in had something that could have damaged me physically, today’s ride home presented an overtaking opportunity that could have dented my pride. I read an article a while ago (that I can’t find now) about overtaking, and how you need to be careful ‘cos if the person you pass is better than you they’ll hunt you down and get you back – to your shame!

And so, a mile or so into my 5.5 miles home, I catch up with a woman on a road bike. She has pretty strong looking legs, a nice bike with a ridiculously small cassette (that’s the rear gears), some semi-pro-looking, sponsored bike wear and jersey pockets stuffed full of stuff. All of which says “I’m on a long ride and quite capable of outpacing you for a long time”. But she was doing about 15mph up a slight incline – where I’d be doing 19 or 20!

What do you? Is it polite to breeze past in my relatively-amateur-looking gear on my commute home? It seems like an insult. And if I do pass is she going to hunt me down and breeze effortlessly past me shouting that I should try harder? Should I wave? Say “hi”? Ring my bell? All compounded by that fact that she’s a woman and any form of communication could be misinterpreted.


Anyway, just like with the tractor, I decided to go for it. I sped up. I got past. I maintained my extra pace for as long as my tired legs would let me. I looked back. And she was nowhere to be seen.


In fact, according to FatCyclist’s overtaking point system I reckon I got 6 points for passing one cyclist! Though I’m not sure if the shaved legs points count for a woman.

So, body and pride intact after 2 risky manoeuvres – it’s been a good week’s cycling!