I think anyone who has cycled on a regular basis has a couple of storys regarding car drivers and near death experiences. Ultimately you have to just assume that car drivers are out to kill you and do your best to not be one of those who give cyclists a bad name. I give myself plenty of space to avoid dips and what not but I also stop at traffic lights. I did have the benefit of cycling proficiency though, maybe it helped.
Interesting that a few people had awful experiences in Reading as its the place where all my horror stories come from.
- Clipped by a rear view mirror by someone (I saw them look in their mirror in panic so they must have heard a thump). I got a little bit of road rage because she saw me, eyes widened, then sped up. Fortunately she was stopped by traffic lights 50m away so I was able to catch her up and give her a *ahem* polite telling off.
- Run off the road by a bus driver - He tried to overtake me adjacent to a freaking traffic island. I was run off the road and onto my back on the pavement, bike on top. The bus driver knew this because he was honking his horn the whole time and even stopped, opened the doors and screamed obscenities at me. Fortunately it was the bus I occasionally took to work so I was able to report the time, date, bus route and service number to the approapriate company as well as sending a copy of the letter to my MP and counciller. Needless to say I was able to get swift action from the company regarding the driver and I received a letter from the MP 6 months later asking if the matter was resolved
I am not going to list any more but there have been many occasions where nothing less than kicking the side of a car (or more frequently a van) has notified the driver of my presence and those dents have probably saved my life a few times.. Makes me angry just thinking about it.