Most cyclists, I’m sure, have heard that well-worn and tattered phrase, “get off the road!”, at some point or another, usually uttered with spiteful venom out of a passing car’s window. However, I doubt many have heard it coming from a passenger stood smack bang in the middle of the road themselves.
Well, that’s the bizarre situation road.cc reader Gareth found himself in while out on his bike in October.
While stopped at the junction of Brynteg road and Pontardulais Road in Penyrheol, Swansea, Gareth is almost struck head on by a driver who – clearly oblivious to the cyclist’s presence – attempted to cut the corner, before hitting the brakes just in time.
But unlike most of our near misses, that close call only marks the start of this particular story. After Gareth expresses his discontent with the motorist’s questionable turning method, the driver proceeds to pass him… on the wrong side of the road.
With the vehicle still moving, the car’s passenger – clearly unhappy that the cyclist made a note of the driver’s dangerous manoeuvre – jumps out for a round of detailed analysis, prompting one of the more bizarre exchanges witnessed on Near Miss of the Day.
“Listen now, I saw you, she wasn’t cutting [the corner],” the passenger, now standing in the road in front of the cyclist, says.
“What do you mean, she wasn’t cutting the corner?” comes Gareth’s baffled reply.
Then, delivered with a startling lack of self-awareness, the woman shouts at the cyclist to “get off the road” before he’s on the receiving end of yet more dodgy driving.
After Gareth, understandably, asks why he’s the recipient of a verbal lashing after a motorist cut the corner of a junction, almost hitting him, our protective passenger replies: “Because you’re standing still there and there’s other traffic, and you’ll cause an accident.”
As the cyclist, presumably shaking his head, finally rides off, strains of “we said sorry!” – and a few other things – fade away into the distance.
Speaking to road.cc, Gareth reckons that his close call, and the rather baffling stand-off that followed, provide an indication of "just how ‘anti-cyclist’ people have become”.
Or maybe it just tells us not to get on the wrong side of a Swansea mum…
Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.
If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.
If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).
Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.
Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.