“Sorry, mate, didn’t see you there…”

… is, I suspect, never a sentence I will ever hear uttered in my general direction. I was tootling along to work this morning, stopped at a set of lights, when a taxi driver leaned out of the side window to attract my attention.

“Oh dear, what did I do wrong?” I thought.

“’Scuse me, miss?”


“I just wanted to say how easy it was to see you with those lights and that thing* across your back. Thanks. Nice bike.”

The lights are two Knog Beetle white lights on the front forks, plus the dynamo she came fitted with, and on the back I’ve got the red light she came fitted with plus a Knog Skink on the outside pannier, and “that thing” is a Bobbin Bicycles Miss World Sash.

Those of you who are friends on Facebook or follow me on Twitter may have picked up on the fact that I’m going to make a cape out of Lumatwill, as well.

Getting hit because I dazzled a driver might be a problem, but cycling a black bike, in the dark, with no lights, dark clothing, and, if a helmet is present, it’s dangling casually off one of the handlebars, strikes me as a way to remove yourself from the gene pool swiftly and messily.

11 thoughts on ““Sorry, mate, didn’t see you there…”

  1. I am just amazed that the taxi driver called you “Miss” . As well as all that light reflecting clothing, you must have a ‘respect me’ aura glowing round you.

  2. That all sounds very sensible and stylish. Funnily enough, I always hope I’ll see you cycling by whenever I’m in London – but then, that London is a VERY big place 🙂

  3. What a cool cabbie! I am constantly enraged (both when cycling and when driving) when I see people cycling without lights or reflective material or even a helmet. Not only are they endangering their lives it irritates drivers who then tend to give any cyclist short shrift.

    Not sure I’d get away with a Bobbin Bicycles Miss World Sash when I’m cycling along on the brompton though.

  4. I love that Lumatwill site! You’re going to look very stylish and visible in your tweed cape.

    For now I’ll stick to my ever scruffy look of battered fluorescents and oil stained gloves. Sadly sitting on a mountain bike everyday wouldn’t do tweed any favours.

    Visibility is a huge problem. I think it’s agreed it is as important, if not more important, to be visible ie lights and light colours, than wearing a cycling helmet.

  5. I have never owned a bike, either as a child or adult, but I feel a strange need for a Bobbin Bicycles Miss World Sash.

    I feel it would be very me. Even without the bike.

  6. I think everyones’ lives will be greatly enriched by the addition of a Bobbin Bicycles Miss World Sash.

    So there.

    There will be photos of this sartorial excess, I’m making a matching hat as well, for wearing off the bike.

    Harriet – Zephirine is an old-fashioned sit up and beg and has one of two effects on other people: “she’s riding one of those, in central London, stay well away from the crazy woman,” or being called “Miss” and getting smiled at. It’s quite funny…

  7. I have a khaki “holender” with a camouflage (sp?) chain guard. I wouldn’t have chosen it, but I like the image clash (though I do have vague plans to sand the whole thing down during Snowy Season and paint it dark pearlescent turquoise, in which case I will have to get a different chain guard).

    Only problem is that my librarian chic pencil skirt is not really normal saddle compatible: I’ll have to get one of these.

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