This morning, I was cycling along the Edgware Road not far from Marble Arch. It was the start of my pledge to cycle for the next 30 days. (Please see the link below for more information on this). Coming to a stop at a red light I waited for it to change green. A cyclist on a hybrid with with lights on and hi-vis cycled past me as the lights had gone green. I saw him cycle ahead, indicating right to go past me and then he manoeuvred himself so that he was about a metre away from the curb. All text book stuff.
A black taxi was parked outside Waitrose and then drove past very close to me to the extend I felt it unsafe. When it got to the cyclist on the hybrid it actually passed even closer than it had me, so close I thought contact had been made. The taxi didn't get far as another set of lights stopped it about seven cars from the lights. I attempted to get as close to the front of the traffic as possible but stopped parallel with the taxi. The hybrid cyclist went up to the drivers side window and politely said something along the lines, "that was a bit close mate, you didn't give me much room there." He didn't raise his voice or swear. He was very clam and obviously an experienced London cyclist.
The hybrid cyclist then proceeded to the front of the line of traffic. The lights green, he proceeded as did I. When the black taxi passed, it was even closer than before and he moved left in front of the cyclists without indicating. As he drove past he also sounded his horn. The cyclist wobbled and his only reaction was to shake his head.
I wasn't able to speak to the cyclist as he turned left into Bryanston Street and I was heading to Oxford Street but I would have like to. I was left with a sick feeling in my stomach for a few seconds and quite shocked that a black taxi driver had acted in this way as I have always found them to be pretty good. I suppose there are good and bad out there.
I don't think I would have reacted any differently to the situation than the hybrid cyclist. Occasionally when driving you see 'road rage' but this is usually induced by someone feeling another driver has done something to them. This cyclist did nothing wrong.
How would you have reacted to this situation? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.