Maybe It's Heatstroke

I know that sunshine is a rare thing in the West of Scotland, but is it really so rare that it causes half of the population to develop a Deadly Brain Cloud? Take yesterday for example: It was sunny, warm and generally fairly present. There was a strong breeze from the south-west that kept the air moving, enough to stop the air becoming stifling, but not strong enough to ruin the good weather.

A fairly perfect spring day in other words.

I was enjoying my ride home on the bike, same as most days, when I became concious that a lot of strange things seemed to be happening.Glasgow suddenly seemed to become infested with stunt drivers, addle-brained pedestrians and crazed dogs.

It started up on Bilsland Drive in Ruchill. I tend to head along it towards the west end so that I can avoid the bus laden nightmare of the city centre. Bilsland Drive is a big wide street with only a few houses on the one side and the tumbledown remains of the old Ruchill Hospital on the other. There’s more than enough room for two lanes of traffic on either side provided there’s no parked cars. It’s one of those streets in Glasgow that makes it great to cycle along because you know that with all that room nobody is going to try to squeeze past the end of your handlebar at 30mph.

Or so I thought.

I had just passed the gates of the old hospital. Pedalling along, minding my own business, when out of the blue a Toyota Yaris passed me within inches, in spite of there being plenty of room. Then, to my open mouthed amazement, the damn thing pulled in to the kerb right in front of me.


I scowled at the occupant, but gave her the benefit of the doubt: Maybe she hadn’t judged the distance properly and it was an honest mistake. I made to go round her car, and my front wheel was just about level with the back of the car when she threw the driver’s door open and leapt out.

“Fucking hell,” I said and swerved to avoid suffering head on collision with the Hambeast.

She looked at me, clearly registered I was there, and then turned to commence digging stuff out of her car. Why do people who do this exact thing never seem to get hit by passing trucks?

She was bad enough, but I also got chased along part of Queen Margaret Drive by a demented dog who’s owner just watched as it ran down the road behind me and in front of a taxi. I nearly ran over a woman who, despite clearly seeing me approaching along the road, decided to step out in front of me at the last possible moment causing me to swerve violently to avoid her.

After that I was more cautious. I indicated with hand signals in plenty of time, and kept a wary eye on pedestrians and wildlife. That still didn’t help me avoid a group of students wandering down the middle of the road on a blind bend, or the old man in the car who did a U-Turn right in front of me, or the bus that crawled along behind me even though there was enough space to pass.

Now I’ve given due consideration to the possibility that I had wandered into the twilight zone, or that I just suffered a run of bad luck, but thinking back I’m almost certain that this kind of madness always occurs when it’s warm. I  guarantee that it’ll be better today if the weather stays colder.

Meanwhile if the residents of Glasgow could try to keep themselves hydrated, wear sunscreen and keep a wee bit of common sense and situational awareness it would be greatly appreciated.

If only so I don’t have to pick bits off you off my tires.

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