Filtering through traffic is one of the joys of being a motorcyclist. Traffic jams, queues for lights, whatever, our motorbikes are small enough to manoeuvre through the traffic, get to the front and hit the open road again. But this doesn't come without its dangers.
You see people sitting in cars in jams are trapped, there's nothing they can do about it. They see a bike coming in their mirrors and they're not happy about it. "How come he/she can keep moving and I can't!?" "Because you want the comfort of your radio mate..." I say. What they don't seem to realise is that we're actually easing congestion by filtering, if we sat in the traffic like everyone in a car, the queue would be longer because there's another load of vehicles sitting there!
Now I only filter when I know it's safe and never at speed. I've heard enough horror stories of car drivers opening doors and moving over in front of bikers, which of course never ends well. Now you do get exceptions that will move out of the way for you (probably bikers themselves) but on the whole car drivers hate the fact we can filter.
The reason I'm writing this today is because I had an experience just this morning. I was coming up to a queue of traffic at some lights. Naturally I pulled out and ran along the side of the queue. There was an empty lane for turning right so I had plenty of room. About halfway down the queue the lights turned green and the traffic started moving off. I picked a spot to move in (about a two car gap as the guy behind was obviously having trouble with his handbrake...) Indicated and manoeuvred into position, checking my mirrors and doing a lifesaver as I did. The guy behind was still a good two car lengths back so it was completely safe.
Now this is where things get interesting. Just after moving past the junction a horn sounds and I've got flashing lights in my mirrors. The guy behind obviously was not happy about me filtering. He proceeded to follow me right on my backside up the road, flashing and beeping his silly little head off. I gave him some hand gestures and shook my head. But he didn't let up, driving very dangerously and aggressively. What an idiot, I'm on a bike, of course I can’t compete with you, go on, run me down I dare you! Luckily before anything too serious happened he turned right off the road giving me an angry beep goodbye.
Sickening really. I did nothing wrong and this guy felt he should put my life in danger because I moved ahead of him in a queue of traffic. What a fool. This sort of thing happens everyday though guys as I'm sure you know, feel free to post your stories on my Facebook, I'd love to hear them!