The clement weather and loads of recent publicity have brought the fair-weather cyclists onto the roads. As a die-hard who likes to ride in the depths of winter with horizontal rain I have mixed feelings about this. It's a good thing that people get out of their cars, take the air and attempt healthy living. On the other hand they don't half get in your way. Now, I've been known to jump the odd red - at a pedestrian crossing with no pedestrians or at a junction I know well enough where the timing of the lights sequence has been grafted into my brain - but recently I have taken to stopping at the red and it feels much better. And now I can see how annoying it is when some idiot cyclist bombs through without a care for their own safety or that of any passing pedestrian. They really should stop. But when they do stop at the lights it really is VERY annoying when you're at the front and some flip-flop wearing (please don't wear sandals when cycling. Do you want to die?) saunterer danders up and pulls in front of you when it's blindingly obvious I'm faster and will only overtake anyway which I don't particularly like doing as it's dangerous. (Sandal wearing cyclists also tend to wear their ill-fitting helmets at a jaunty angle. This is more dangerous than not wearing one. I never wear a helmet and in 20 years of cycling and 3 dozen falls I've never hit my head yet. If a car hits you then you're screwed no matter what, helmet or no helmet)
There is one good spot for overtaking though. This morning I was waiting by the lights at the bottom of Kennington road. Typically every cyclist who came behind pulled in front of me until I was at the back of a group of about 15. When the lights went green off we went. Some guys who fancied themselves set off at a pace and everyone else just sauntered on. Kennington road is just shy of a mile long and 2 lanes so you've got plenty of time to build up. By half way I'd passed everyone. It was great. I felt like Steve Ovett at the back of the pack in the 1500m with one lap to go and slowly but surely just leaving them all for dust. I know it's childish and blokey but I don't care. You've got to take your pleasures where you can find them.
But as for the psychopath... waiting to pull onto Herne Hill, a road with some seriously fast traffic, a man passed in front of me cycling one-handed (not good at the best of times). In the other hand he was holding his daughter! She was sitting on his knee! His leg was going up and down! He had his spare arm wrapped around her waist holding her on! He had NO control! He should go to jail for recklessly endangering his own childs life!
Not much about books but I'm looking forward to this coming into the shop soon.