I don’t know if it’s wrong of me to judge another rider by the shape of his legs and whether his feet are fixed to his pedals but that’s what I tend to do. Last night on the homeward commute I was (yet again) faced with the question of whether or not to overtake the cyclist in front and the indicators were that I shouldn’t. The guy in question was on a silver Trek hybrid and going a a good steady pace but looked like he had the potential to go faster and therefore might respond if I tried to go past him.
He had lycra cycling shorts on exposing chiselled and possibly shaven legs and his feet were attached to the pedals with toe clips. So I patiently held back (astride the Mighty Saracen) as I progressed along Bury new Road between the McDonalds at Great Cheetham St West and the junction with Knoll St. However, after we passed though the green light at the top of Knoll St he hesitated and I knew I had to pass him using my special manoeuvre.
For those of you who don’t have the pleasure of the northward stretch of Bury New Road after 5pm on a Monday to Thursday, this is where the traffic is reduced to a crawl along the A56. 2 lanes merge to 1 after the junction with Northumberland St and a very welcome cycle lane appears but getting to it safely is tricky. At the junction with Northumberland there is a 3rd turn right filter lane but the 2 lanes crossing the junction are packed together making it dangerous to either hug the curb or squeeze between the 2 northbound lanes of queuing traffic. Our friend on the Trek (the dick) was looking to pavement hop past the junction and jump back on the road when the cycle lane appeared. There was an alternative, my special manoeuvre, “Buffalo Gals”.
“Buffalo Gals go round the outside, round the outside, round the outside”
At the junction I took a line to the right hand side of the 2 lanes of traffic and then as the road narrowed went ’round the outside’ onto the opposite side of the road (because there was no southbound traffic) and once I’d got to the point where 2 lanes had merged to 1 and cycle lane was there, I swung across to a position close to the curb. This looks dramatic and I’m sure lots of drivers curse me as I do it as they are so envious of my quicker progress but I swear it’s not putting me or anyone else at risk and I wouldn’t do it if there was on coming traffic.
So there you go, that was my Buffalo Gals move done. Trek man was behind me now as we climbed up past the fire station but he caught me at a Moor Lane red light; he cycled past me as I was queued in traffic. He was on the pavement again, not going quickly but his next manoeuvre was stupid as he crossed Moor Lane and skipped onto the road just in front of Witchway express bus that was about to stop at a bus stop. I wasn’t trying to chase him but did catch him up as we climbed to the Hilton Lane lights. This time he stayed on the road but as the lights were about to change and we were to set off from behind an advanced stop line box he deferred to me saying ‘I think you’d better go first’.
You bet your ass I’m going first knobhead. He didn’t catch me again.