Road rage

I originally posted this on Pinwheel (which I’m enjoying a lot), but as it’s still in private beta, I thought I would cross-post it here too.

Pushed Over the Bridge

Creative Commons (by-nd) Image by Wootang01 on Flickr

When I left my last job, I was given one of those helmet cams that you can use to record your hardcore, weekend extreme sports exploits. People also use them to record evidence of dangerous behaviour by motorists, when on the mean streets.

I’m a far calmer cyclist than I once was, say 10-12 years ago. I care more about getting to where I’m going without incident and enjoying myself as I do it. So I don’t really feel the need to have a helmet cam for road rage incidents. However, it might have come in handy this evening.

I’m just leaving this note, so that in the future, when Pinwheel becomes massive, the very angry cyclist that shouldered a pedestrian out of the way on Princes Bridge earlier this evening, can find it and realise what a nasty man he is/was.

It wasn’t a huge collision, more of a shock for the poor lady than anything, but it was definite arm to arm contact nonetheless. I was right behind him when he did it. Aghast, I asked “Why didn’t you just say something?” (like “Excuse me”).

This had worked rather effectively when I had done so with some other pedestrians who were also obscuring the shared path in front of both of us, about 5 seconds earlier.

His response? Having a big cry about ringing his bell and what else was he going to do if they were in his way? Well, I was riding right behind him, and I didn’t hear a bell. He then enquired if I wanted a punch in the mouth and he called me a “dick”.

Pardon me, but there was only one penis on a bicycle, heading north on the (essentially) shared path on Princes Bridge at 5:45pm, and it wasn’t me.

He was old enough to know better (grey beard) and an experienced enough cyclist (Oakley Jawbones sunnies; perhaps he wants to be Mark Cavendish?), to know better.

Mr Grey Beard Agro* cyclist, if you were on foot and someone shouldered you out of the way, you’d be outraged. Dude, it’s 5:45pm on Princes Bridge on a Tuesday night, not the Via Roma during Milan-San Remo. Imagine if you were cycling on St Kilda Rd and a car decided to give you a nudge in the same mean spirit? What you did tonight is the same thing; unkind, ungenerous, intolerant and rude. And that is not OK. You are just making it worse for everyone.

Maybe you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or your wife just left you? Perhaps, you have just received some similar, terrible news. Only then would I have any sympathy for you. However, I suspect you are just a nasty fellow. So my last message is, “Have a miserable life.”

* He looked like a greyer version of the Agro puppet. A staple of 80’s and 90’s kids’ TV:

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