Cycling to work this morning, I was heading West on Union Street when I became aware of a bus behind me. I was doing around 18mph, which is decent-ish for cycling, though of course that's just over half the speed limit and I was sure that the bus driver wanted to overtake.
As I suspect is the case with most commuting cyclists, I've had a few hair-raising moments involving buses before.
This bus driver, however, was of a different breed! He sat patiently behind me, and didn't attempt to overtake in places where smaller vehicles, and some buses, would've pushed their luck and risked my life in the process.
In the end, he only overtook me once I was on Stonehouse Bridge, which has two lanes in each direction, and he moved completely over while overtaking me.
I was so impressed by this that I tweeted First Bus Devon, and asked them to convey my heartfelt thanks to the driver of bus number 32715.
This evening I had reason to go to Torpoint and of course I cycled there. On the way, again on Union Street, there was another bus behind me. Again this was a First double-decker bus, same as this morning, and again the driver didn't tailgate me and didn't try to intimidate me out of the way. Again, the driver waited until Stonehouse Bridge to overtake, and she also moved right into lane 2 to overtake, before moving back into lane1.
Later, on Cumberland Road, I caught up with the bus at a bus stop. As I was over-taking it, the driver started indicating to pull out, so I slowed right down and let her pull out and overtake me without having to wait for ages for a safe spot. She smiled and waved thanks as she drove by.
Cycling home from Torpoint, later in the evening, I was riding in the bus lane on Exeter Street, when I was overtaken by yet another First double-decker bus. This driver also gave me plenty of room when overtaking. So much so that he left the bus lane to overtake, before moving back into it.
I caught up with him at the red traffic lights at Cattedown Roundabout, and thanked him for having given me so much space. He simply nodded, gave me a big smile and started driving again, as by then the lights had turned green.
Thanks First Bus Devon! Much appreciated!