Cut up, pulled over and patronised by the police


A lovely day for a bicycle ride - though when I started out at 9am it was misty in Maidenhead... but I knew it would burn off and looked forward to sunny and blue skies.

Feeling good I decided I'd do my 55 mile route, Maidenhead>Pinkneys Green>Henley>Hambleden Valley>Freith>Marlow>Bourne End>Beaconsfield>Amersham>Gerrards Cross>Beaconsfield>Bourne End>Cookham>Maidenhead - nice and hilly.

As I descended the "Tesco" hill to Amersham, I clocked a police people carrier entering the same roundabout I was about to enter, from the opposite direction. As they weren't signalling, I assumed they were going straight on, to climb the hill I'd just descended.

I zipped across the roundabout and as I exited I moved across to the right hand side of the lane as in 50 or so yards I was turning right at another roundabout. I did a quick lifesaver check - not by turning my head to my right but by looking "underarm", and was surprised to glimpse the police vehicle that I thought had gone straight on.

I signalled my intention to turn right at the roundabout and did exactly that - positioning myself to turn left in 30 yards or so at the next roundabout. Unbelievably, the police vehicle overtook me and tried to cut in to the gap between me and the car in front, which had stopped at the roundabout where I intended to turn left. They didn't quite make it as there simply wasn't enough time or room for them and they ended up at an angle across the carriageway and I had to brake hard and swerve left into the kerb to avoid smacking into the side of their car.

Totally gobsmacked at such bad driving by a POLICE driver, I expressed my astonishment and frustration which the cops took exception. The passenger wound down his window and insisted I pulled over, which I did.

We then had a civil but cordial... discussion... about the virtues of MY bike riding - the incident seemingly was MY fault due to lack of knowledge of the highway code!

I would have pressed my point harder, but there was genuine malice, a steel fist in a velvet glove indeed, in the passenger's voice and of course there were two of them and one of me, any legal action would take time - plenty of time for them to collude, I mean confer, about their version of events, so in the end I felt discretion would be the better part of valour and I let the guy think he was right - besides I really really wanted to get to Costa's for a coffee.

But both of them knew I didn't give a fig for their opinions, as they were clearly bullying me - so they must have known they were in the wrong.

A shameful incident, in my opinion, and I will continue to shout at drivers, whether in fluorescent stripy vehicles or not, if they cause or nearly cause an accident.