There was a conspiracy against me on my commute to work this morning. Remember The Truman Show, when he decided he wanted to drive off the island and they had to try and stop him, so everyone drove their car into the street to create traffic, to hinder his progress? That's how it was for me.
The weather was lovely so I decided to ride the motorbike instead of drive the car, but it was doomed from the start. I got out of the car park and there was no room for me to filter through the cars as the person right in front of the exit had left so little room between his car and the one in front that even a bicycle couldn't get through.
Plain sailing across Tower Bridge at least, but then trapped between a lorry and a bus, with a Nissan Almera driver turning left onto Jamaica Road, the same way I wanted to go. So I had to wait for another traffic light change. On any other road I'd have been able to overtake Nissan Almera driver, but the bus lane here is only a bus and cycle lane. Motorbikes aren't allowed, and the Almera was so far to the right, it would have been suicide to pass her. And she pootled along, so the traffic light that would have been green if she was doing 30mph went red, and I had to wait.
Passed her at the lights, and hit traffic approaching the Rotherhithe tunnel. It's normally pretty clear here, but the bus lane allows motorbikes here so it wasn't too bad. I went around the roundabout and clearly signalled my intention to exit towards Surrey Quays, but the driver of the black BMW X5, despite looking straight at me, decided to wander into my path on the roundabout. Some horn beeping and eye contact occurred, and he didn't even look apologetic.
Then I got stuck behind another bus, that wanted to go 15mph. Passed it, got stuck at a traffic light. Then stuck behind another car going slowly. Bikes can't go in the bus lane again. Passed the cars, had a bit of a free run, but thwarted by a red traffic light. Cleared the light, and got stuck behind a cement mixer. The cement mixer must have been fully loaded because I swear it took about 3 minutes for it to get to 30mph. Bikes not allowed in bus lane again. Managed to pass cement mixer at the lights, then got stuck behind a chain of cars that was stuck behind a Volvo. Extra traffic at the roundabout in Lewisham - had to filter through where normally it's clear. Then stuck behind a Lexus Rx300 again. Took ages to pass due to oncoming traffic. Managed to squeeze in front of a bus and make my right turn, only for another 15mph bus to pull out from a bus stop and proceed at that speed for the rest of the lenghth of the road. Passed it at the South Circular, made the left turn towards Grove Park, only to hit traffic. Filtered past, but couldn't pass a lorry as there wasn't enough room in between the lorry and the traffic island. Had to wait for it to move (which took ages due to a combination of bus and lorry ahead), so again thwarted at traffic lights.
Lights go green, no room to pass, stuck behind another chain of cars. Finally passed them at a traffic light and had a free run from there... for the next 700 metres or so, until I reached my destination, where there were 2 cars parked in front of my straight path into the bike parking area, so had to approach at an angle and take extra care.
And despite all this my facebook status says my ride to work was awesome, because it was! It's such a nice bike to ride! :D