Think Harder

That. Was. Scary.

You know the “Think Bike” advert where the guy driving a car doesn’t see the motorbike? The one where he isn’t paying proper attention, isn’t looking for bikes, so he pulls out and CRASH.

I was so close, but the scary thing is I was looking, I was paying attention.

Driving home tonight I pulled onto the Sheffield Parkway; it’s a fairly ordinary, fairly busy dual carriageway. The place where I joined it is not an awkward junction, you join on a slip road, rather like joining a motorway. You can see clearly from the slip road. So I looked and there was a gap, a gap so unusually big that it surprised me and I actually looked twice. I’m acutely aware of how easy it is to “lose” things in the “blind spot” in this type of situation, so I was careful: I checked my mirrors, I signalled, I looked over my shoulder.

I still don’t know what made me stop there, what little bit of my subconscious mind noticed that something wasn’t quite right.

Fortunately something made me hesitate and start looking all over again, but it was still a moment before I heard him and then he finally appeared: a moped rider, dressed in flimsy looking dark clothing, hunched over the handlebars, staring ahead as his engine strained and he struggled to keep up with the traffic.

As far as I can tell, he never even noticed his narrow escape. I was the one who was shaken up: had that subconscious warning not made me hesitate, I would have driven straight into him.

But the scary thing is I was looking, I was paying attention, I still don’t understand how I failed to see the bike before I did.

I was lucky today. So was the biker. I may have been “thinking bike”, but it seems I need to think harder.

1 comment to Think Harder

  • Flouresecent vest?
    Riding defnesivly and proactively?

    One wonders how some of these people get through CBT – it’s suppsoed to teach you all of these things.

    Moped riders scare hell out of me, as a car driver and as a motorcyclist, and they give the rest of us motorcyclists a very bad reputation.