Nothing like as serious as what happened to Malcolm a while back, but it could
have been a lot worse.
I was out doing a bit of training today, coming north up the A24 on the stretch that's next to Southwater. Traffic zooming by, but I was actually just to the left of lane 1, a few inches the other side of the white line, and doing about 18mph up the long drag. Next thing I know - crash - shuddering impact to my head and right ear, and the sound of, so I thought, breaking glass. Instantly I thought I'd been hit by a truck's wing mirror, but after a moment's shock, and the realisation I was still upright on the bike, I realised it couldn't be. Disappearing into the distance at maybe 80 or 90mph was a silver grey Astra van, with some neanderthal hanging out of the passenger window - so obviously this guy had smacked me on the head with something, just for a laugh. It turned out to be a big bit of plastic sheet, by the way - about 1mm thick and brittle enough to shatter all over the place.
What do you do when faced with mindless aggression like that? Somehow I stayed really calm - I was 'in the zone' with my training and totally loving it, the conditions were beautiful, and no damage was done, apart from a few little gouges out of the back of my helmet. I guess you have to feel sorry for these people too - their lives must be so indescribably crap in every way that hitting a cyclist over the head could well be the high point of their year.
Anyway, be careful out there. This could have been worse if I wasn't wearing a helmet. I rang the cops and reported this, but with no registration plate to go on and no witnesses it's for 'info only'. And keep your eyes peeled for silver grey Astra vans - no company logos - a ladder on one side of a low roof rack. If you see anything suspicious I'd love a registration number.