In my new route home which, if you remember, I was trying for the first time, I had to cycle straight across this junction. There was a big old lorry which was stopped at the junction and I cycled up alongside it, on the left hand side of it.
When the traffic lights changed to green, the lorry moved forwards to cross the junction. I also started pedalling as hard as I could, because the wind was blowing right at me. Imagine my red face, squished under a cycle helmet (I was and am very conscientious about wearing protection when cycling), strapped to my back was a bright orange Karrimor rucksack, stuffed full of notes on the anatomy of the head and neck of domestic animals. I was pedalling fit to burst because that bloody wind was coming at me like a demon!
And then the lorry turned left.
Now, I hadn’t seen it indicating to turn left but over the years I have never been able to say for sure that it wasn’t indicating. I always like to give others the benefit of the doubt (I never give myself the benefit of the doubt, I know exactly what is going on in my stupid head) so I’m going to have to assume that the lorry driver did indicate and that I just failed to notice. I was pretty much in his blind spot at this point so he may not have indicated and failed to spot me. He may have done two things wrong, or I may have done one thing wrong. It’s Occam’s Razor, innit? More likely that I’m in the wrong.
Anyway, the lorry turned left.
A lorry can block off an awful lot of wind when it turns in front of you.
An awful lot of wind that I was pedalling really bloody hard to overcome.
And suddenly I was just pedalling really bloody hard.
And I pedalled right into the side of the lorry. Right into one of its big, bloody tyres.
Things are a bit sketchy at this point.
I think I probably bounced around on top of the wheel for a few moments, and then I think I went under the wheel. There are two wheels at the front of a lorry (if I’m imagining it right) and I must have been on the front wheel at the start.
I may have hollered a bit. Possibly screamed like a baby. Probably not a manly, ‘I say, do you mind, I appear to have cycled into the side of your lorry. Would you mind not driving on?’
Actually, yes, it was definitely that last one.
The lorry stopped moving. My right arm was stuck under the front wheel. My right foot was stuck under the second wheel. My face was on the tarmac. My bright orange Karrimor rucksack was intact and sticking up in the air. My bike, was further under the lorry than I was. My bike was not as intact as I was.
I had been, people told me later, incredibly lucky.