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Sunday, 23 August 2015

How crazy deer save cyclists!

Travelling at night through French forests on the D924a & D44 north of Paris, friends had warned me about the deer that leap out from the sides into cars and so on.

These two way single carriageway roads are really straight or with gentle curves and could easily sustain 70 MPH. The limit though is about 50 MPH. Heeding my friend though I was keeping to about 40 MPH although the locals were doing higher speeds in both directions.

Probably these deer strikes are much rarer than the tales of them but being in France, with a long trip still to do, and of course our motor home is our accommodation too, this was not the time to be sustaining catastrophic damage to it.

The road was quite busy with lots of oncoming, which meant dipped headlights and from the oncoming glare very limited vision. Here is where rule 93 of the Highway Code means nothing. See more on that here In reality as the opposing vehicles pass, there is just blackness immediately in front of you momentarily and in that pool of black loomed, no more that 20 feet from my bumper, within my dipped beam range, there he was a cyclist. I yanked the wheel, towards the oncoming vehicle, and swerved around the cyclist and missed him and thankfully the oncoming car too.

What the hell was he doing there at all- other than a cyclist's peculiar right to place themselves in mortal danger that is? There was no prior sign of lights, he certainly wasn't using high intensity lighting and not wearing any hi viz clothing.

It occurred to me that had I hit him at 40 MPH and killed him, what the vicious Cycle Lobby, who think anything pro driver, pro genuine road safety and pro responding to their palpable self centered nonsense amounts to cycle hatred, would have made of it. 'Murder' they would've screamed to the Gendarmes and I would've had some explaining to do.

The trusty dash cam had fallen off that same day. Needless to say it has been re-installed and will be a priority in future.

I shudder to think.

Thank God for crazy deer.

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