Close call on the bike ride to work

Nearly got taken out on my ride to work at roundabout/traffic circle. This roundabout has a left turn and carries on straight, and the lane approaching it splits into two. Normally at this roundabout I check behind me and if no one is coming I stay on the outside of the outside lane and carry on straight. This morning I didn’t check over my shoulder and took my usual line and a car overtook me turning left, then ANOTHER one went through, cutting me off and not using a signal.

I raised my arm to complain silently and went straight, but I realized I should have checked over my shoulder and taken the lane. Damn. Lesson learned!

Anyway. Here’s my bike:

There’s not much to it: it’s a Raleigh steel ‘hybrid’ bike that I got for free from some people on Freecycle. Free is good! I’ve had this bike for a couple of years I guess. Hybrids don’t carry much cache with serious bikers because they’re just road frames with mountain bike gearing and handlebar, but this one does the job OK. I’ve got a real road bike but I need to give it a little TLC and change the tires before I take it anywhere. It would be way lighter than this thing!

Anyway, equipment: I’ve changed the handlebar grips to ‘aero’ grips just to try them out but have a set of drop handlebars that will go on there at some point. I just changed the pedals to two-sided pedals with one side for street shoes and one side for clip-in shoes. The fenders are made by SKS but sold by Raliegh, got them off eBay. The rack is a generic thing off eBay and the basket is a wire freezer rack I found at a recycling centre near my old place.¬† The bottle cage rarely has anything in it, it’s mainly there because I can’t be bothered to take it off. The bag under the seat has a spare tube, basic flip-out tool set and tire levers. The tyres are Schwalbe Marathon Ultras, which are awesome. Good grip and really thick rubber on the contact patch, plus reflective sidewalls.

It’s a 5-minute ride to work (because it’s mostly downhill) and a 7-minute ride home. Not too shabby! I’m sure I’ll continue to bike to work in the winter, it’s such a short ride and I’ve got plenty of lights and warm clothes.

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