The Green Cross Code

I’ve had a few minor incidents on my commute to and from work, and a couple of falls off Fuzzy that were my own stupid fault and didn’t hurt anyone else. But I had my first crash involving someone else today.

It was nothing major. I, on my bike, collided with a 10-ish-year-old girl, also on a bike. There were no major injuries but it was quite a shock.

I’d been pulling away from a roundabout. Just past the exit, there was an unmarked crossing with an island. I’d seen the family with a couple of kids on bikes, about to cross from a distance. As I approached, the mother saw me and shouted to stop, and I pulled away from the roundabout as normal assuming that they would.

As I got closer, it appeared that one of the girls wasn’t about to stop. I THINK I remember
making eye contact, but if we did she must have thought that I would stop. My initial thought was that SHE would stop. Either that or speed up and get out of my way. But she continued on at the same slow speed. I’d committed to the gap on my left, in front of the girl, but it was shrinking, so I got on the brakes. Too late though. We collided.

I don’t really remember what happened then, but we all ended up standing at the side of the road. The mother was more concerned with my welfare than that of her daughter. I think she felt bad because, ultimately, it was the girl’s fault for crossing without looking. She stood in silence holding her hand and looking mightily scared. I had a bruised leg but kept my cool and wished them a good day once we’d established that everyone was OK.

I’ve been trying to blame myself for it – something I’m usually pretty good at – but all I can come up with is that, had I judged it better, I could have avoided a collision; a collision that occurred because the girl crossed in front of me.

It was a minor incident, but it’s made me cautious. Maybe next time I’ll anticipate the family crossing and be slower. If I was in a car it would have been much worse, so perhaps I’ll be driving more carefully in future too.

This is not the first incident of children running out at me. I know that the bike is quiet, but the incidents have occurred on pretty major roads and kids should be stopping and looking hard both ways before crossing. Whatever happened to the green cross code?

It was a bad start to my first day back at work after being away on holiday – a report on that to come! I arrived at work to find that I’d been evicted from my desk and had to move – which wasted half a day! And then I upset someone by sending an email with a SINGLE word in upper-case for emphasis. So all in all, not a great start to the new working week.

Oh well, I guess it can only get better!