Wild beasts, roaming over the countryside

There’s something I want to write about the night-time journey over the Cotswolds, and I will, but right now my equilibrium is sufficiently disturbed by the journey in to warrant a long streak of complaints instead.

As is typical of encounters with the Property Care (Complete Maintenance) van, this morning’s was dangerous and mildly upsetting. Shortly before barreling its uncontrolled way into the junction at Finstock it overtook me with inches to spare, and then tried to cut across my front wheel. I appreciate that the company name suggests that the drivers don’t feel the need to take care of anything other than property—say, other people—but what is my bicycle, if not a chattel? How much do I have to pay these idiots to take care of that?

It was followed by a Cottsway van, close enough that there might have been a tow-rope between them. The behaviour of Mr Property Care rather cramped Mr Cottsway’s style, though, so he couldn’t really get an illegal manoeuver of his own in—apart from travelling too close to the vehicle in front, of course. You can’t keep a good van down!

Last night, in comparison, I had a lovely ride home, marred only by a brief incident beyond Ramsden. A passenger in a passing car sprayed what I’m fairly certain was an empty water bottle at me. I’ve no idea why. I suppose being a vulnerable road user, yet not on a horse, I’m considered fair game round here.

… If anyone ever tells you that city folk don’t understand the countryside, then it’s because the inhabitants are bloody feral.

This entry was posted in cars, cotswolds, cycles, environment, location, opinion, rants, safety, transport. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Wild beasts, roaming over the countryside

  1. K says:

    I think the water bottle incident was in honour of Hallowe’en, night of semi-sanctioned anti-social behaviour.

    Of course, Hallowe’en really holds very little fear for West Oxon’s vulnerable road users, since the damage caused by high jinx on one night is nothing compared to the damage caused by the year-round programme of ignorant, selfish behaviour.

    Maybe a complaint letter to Property Care is in order, when you don’t have more important things to worry about. Companies with bad drivers tend to fear legal action as previous generations feared electricity.

  2. sbalb says:

    I hope to do so when I’ve more time on my hands. It’s hard not to view private companies as a force of nature, though: at least those providing public services are required to have a complaints procedure. There’s nothing stopping Mr Property Care from swinging in that bit tighter next time he gets bored sitting behind a vulnerable road user.

    Well, nothing but the law, but we all know how they treat cases where drivers whack cyclists as if they were meaty aids to their future rally-driving career (cue whining about how some cyclists cycle on the pavements, as if that were even anything approaching the point).

  3. K says:

    at least those providing public services are required to have a complaints procedure

    Well, if it’s any comfort, your post inspired me to actually write to the Dept of Transport after independently coming to a similar conclusion. (And print off the letter. And post it.)

    When I write to private companies, I try to imply that I’m an existing or potential customer, if it’s at all believable. I think my most recent letter said something like: “I am not just a beautiful Woman resisting the Male Gaze; I am also a Creator of Bread using the finest Organic Products.”

    (cue whining about how some cyclists cycle on the pavements, as if that were even anything approaching the point).

    Your post also inspired me to write to David Cameron about the second-class citizenship of cyclists and how it’s no wonder they skulk in the illegal safety of the pavement. But I didn’t get round to posting it.

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