Cycling in Sydney Australia
Which was ...... ?
The stopped rider head swiveled, no, it snapped towards our passing rider and his eyes flashed.
Almost unintelligibly he snarled back a reply "Whatdidyasay? Youwannago? Youwannago? Letzgo!" and he lurched his bike forwards, aggressively stomping on the pedals.
The first rider mood of zen, peace and serenity evaporated and his eyes widened, taken aback at the reaction, a dozen thoughts flashing through his head in quick succession even as he deciphered the response and the approaching threat of the enraged rider.
Rule#1 : Never talk to a rider in passing!
No, Rule#1 : Never talk to a cyclist who just made an effort up an incline
Scratch that, Rule#1, Never, EVER, talk to a cyclist <fullstop>
What a day to run into a pyschopath, make that Rule#1, Never assume a fellow cyclist is a sane or decent human being, afterall, we are all people, just using that particular mode of transport.
Certainly, there were no more thoughts of the beautiful day or the sweeping views of the glittering river
But wait, that accent, it sounded a tinge foreign, perhaps even a little American? Could he be a tourist?
Could he have fled from Trump tower? Is he seeking asylum? - stop , get a grip, how are we going to deal with this?
Fight or Flight? his brain screamed
...or wait, there's another option : De-escalation!
Bringing his bike to a stop, our first rider planted his feet and raised his hands showing open palms - the universal sign to indicate no threats, hidden weapons or police credentials.
And this is where the quintessential Australian lingo came in useful, the first rider forced a smile and dragged out a "Mate, mate, mate- I was just saying it was a nice view"
The enraged, let's call him the tourist at this stage, closed in and fortunately he able to put the verbal and visual signs together and the potential international crisis on Sydney Harbour Bridge was averted.
"oh oh, sorry bro." the tourist apologised and managed to look a touch embarassed.
Now that time reverted to flowing at normal pace, he proceeded to explain that just earlier as he was taking in the scenery and was abused by another cyclist and hence was feeling rather agitated.
Our magnanimous cyclist nodded in understanding and quickly offerred to take a couple of pictures for the tourist and volunteered additional information that the bikepath ends with some steps, however it seemed the tourist was happy to turn around and head back to the city.
Wow that's a really, really unusual reaction from an American tourist. I have found them to be friendly to a fault. Yes sometimes a bit clueless, but always friendly.
There is nothing nicer on a ride than exchanging "Good morning"s with a fellow cyclist.
"Hail fellow, well met"
While it's highly unlikely the fictional protagonist and his erstwhile companion reads SydneyCyclist, perhaps other Cat-E riders might take note that they are potentially spreading agitation and their actions could be a catalyst to World War III (ok maybe that might be a slight exaggeration)
Nice story. Stranger things have happened!
Yesterday morning as I cycled past them, I called three walkers on Riverside Drive in Lane Cove National Park "insane" for wearing shorts in the then sub-zero temperature. (My Garmin was registering -0.9 degrees.)
I didn't stick around for their reactions!