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Dodging Oxford’s cyclists

Emma Leech shares the life lessons learnt from a bike crash

After a recent altercation with a bike (read: I wandered out into the road and was thoroughly knocked out by a cyclist) I thought it would be useful to compile a handy list of ways to stay safe on the streets of Oxford.

1. Look twice before you cross the road. No actually, look three times, maybe twelve. You might give yourself mild whiplash with all this head turning but the same is inevitable without it. Cyclists have an innate ability to apparate from distant realms just as you are about to cross, so make sure you are always vigilant.

2. As a pedestrian, wear knee pads and elbow pads. Unless I missed something from this week’s fashion spread, blue and purple limbs aren’t exactly on trend for Spring/ Summer 2017. Working them into a bop theme seems equally unlikely. Anyway, you can only milk your injuries for sympathy for one day, max. People get bored of bruises.

3. Do not trust a friend to check the way is clear for you. They will inevitably snake you out with Matrix-style dodging moves whilst you are left floundering in the path of the oncoming vehicles. And believe me, after the initial shock, you will be pestered with apparently hilarious reconstructions of your “textbook” knock-out. As soon as the tears dry, the mocking begins.

4. If you do end up in the path of a bicycle you will have a few moments to think of your priorities. Yes, you may need your hands for the mid-term collection you have on the horizon but are they really worth saving over your chicken and avocado flatbread? The choice, in that moment, is yours, but all I’m saying is that hands survive impact and chipotle sauce doesn’t.

5. If you are a cyclist, wear a helmet. You didn’t get here on your good looks and as much as a helmet might ruin your street cred, a severe head injury isn’t too hot either. We are all unashamedly self-absorbed, so even if you consider yourself a true Bradley Wiggins of High Street, an obnoxiously unaware pedestrian could endanger you.

In all seriousness, we all make mistakes and can cross the road at the wrong time or don’t look or swerve the wrong way because we’re jamming along to the music in our headphones. But just because we are usually lucky and usually get away with it does not make us invincible. Take care, whether you are cycling or walking to make sure you are constantly aware of what is around you. Otherwise, you might end up like me, wandering around college clutching ibuprofen and asking anyone who will listen if they want to see your wounds. They don’t.

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