This morning as I threw my leg over the bike at the back door looking at the orange hue of the sun rising over the Comeraghs I inhaled a deep breath of crisp air and thought that this was a great day to be alive . And what better way to get it off to a good start than by heading out for a 40k spin before work .
Within 5 minutes I was riding along deserted country roads enjoying the peace and quiet . After a while I had to cross the main road at Barn , but even this was pretty traffic free . However , just as I approached the next junction I was jolted into the present moment as my life flashed before me . A car came tearing around the sweeping bend so fast that it was on the edge of the road , 30 feet in front of me , on my side of the road . The driver flicked the car and made it back onto his own side before reaching me .
Well , these things happen so I continued on with my spin . The rest of the route via Grange and Newcastle was unusual . Sometimes , having a ‘close one ‘ will have zero effect , other times it makes you stop and think . I found myself looking around me more and noticing a lot more . At one point I could see the Galtee’s , The Knockmeldowns , The Comeraghs and Slievenamon . The sun was an orange ball in the sky and I had the wind on my back . Life was good .
On my way home on the Cahir road roundabout a truck stopped about 4 feet short of the white line as I was going around giving me lots of room and a clear indication that he wasn’t going to pull out in front of me , as often happens . The driver seemed very ‘cyclist friendly’ and as the ‘Irohaul’ ( haulage company based in Mallow Co. Cork ) truck passed me on the bypass I even noticed a cyclists caution sign on the rear . Top marks to this company for being so proactive in sharing the road .
However , at the very next roundabout , I had a very different experience . As I was approaching the junction a big yellow truck accelerated so that it would be alongside me as I entered the roundabout . The driver pushed the cab of his truck ahead of me and I begun to decelerate as I could see that he was not looking in his passenger mirror to check where I was . Now , I am big on a bike and I was wearing a yellow helmet , yellow gear head to toe and I was on a yellow bike . Feck it , I was like big bird on a bike . This driver however , seemed intent on making big birds extinct . Exiting the roundabout he moved right across in front of me and his tires brushed the footpath in front of me . I found myself entering a 6 foot vee between a truck and a 5 inch kerb . Having 20 years of experience stood me in good stead as I was anticipating a manoeuvre of this nature and was just about able to stop in time .
The driver of the 08 TN www.wesellstone.com (or www.wesellheadstones.com as it might be called ) truck was totally oblivious to how close he came to making my wife a widow and probably couldn’t care less .
Perhaps a campaign to name and shame companies whose employees put the lives of cyclists and other road users in danger might be an idea . If companies were black listed so to speak and their bottom line was affected they might have more interest in ensuring that their mobile company representatives have more respect for the lives of other road users . If this saved one life it would be worth while .
What do you think ?
Hi Barry, I was very annoyed to hear about your near miss with one of our trucks. Today, the transport team in We Sell Stone.Com and I are going to have a look at how we deal with this situation in We Sell Stone.com. We will look at possibly getting stickers on the back of the Trucks Hows My Driving ? The driver of that incident will be reprimanded and it will not be taken lightly. We apoligize for the distress caused. We do not take safety lightly in We Sell Stone. Com over the last 12 years we have invested a lot of time and money in making sure our Quarrying &amp; Distribution business is one of the safest in our sector. We will make sure that we learn from this. Thank you for your patience. Regards. David Kinsella
I think that this is a very positive and proactive response from the company and a good example of the power of the web !