It was a day like any other. I was heading home after another day at the chalk face. Slowly. The sun was still high enough in the sky to make its presence felt. The benefits of slow cycling far outweigh the few extra minutes added to my journey time. I could hear a single car coming up from behind. I glanced over my shoulder to confirm. The car came up beside me. It was close enough to touch. The driver had his eyes fixed on the screen of his mobile phone. I saw red.
The driver probably thought I had been in the sun too long. He told me that he wasn’t ‘that’ close. I don’t know how he could determine that; his eyes and attention were on the screen of his phone. And besides, he wasn’t texting, as I had suggested. He was ‘just’ reading a map.
He seemed genuinely puzzled by my reaction to his overtaking manoeuvre. I wasn’t puzzled. I witness this casualness towards driving everyday; whether I’m riding a bicycle, walking or driving. It’s a cultural thing. Sadly, there seems to be very little awareness of the issue or interest in addressing it.
There’s a ‘slow food’ and a ‘slow cycling’ community. It must be about time to set up a ‘slow driving’ community?
‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat.