Cycling in Sydney Australia
This morning I was riding a nice flat loop from Blacktown along Richmond rd, turn towards Windsor, stop at the bakery for coffee & pastry then return to Blacktown via Windsor rd.
Apart from the delicious pastry it was an uneventful ride. Perfect. Then as I approach the intersection of Windsor & Sunnyholt rd two tradies (big Leb looking blokes) thought it would be fun to scare a random cyclist.
So I'm cycling along in the bike lane minding my own business when the passenger of a tray top ute yells out something very loudly as they pass me very closely at high speed.
Yes, I'm startled but it's not the first time I've been heckled. Also with much glee, I realise I will be passing them - stuck in traffic in about 800 metres. So I ride on.
I take a quick sip from my 3/4 empty bidon. That won't be much use. I replace it in the cage & draw my 100% FULL bidon from the seat tube cage. I'm closing in.
Biding my time, I pull open the bidon valve. As I approach I can see the ute window is still wound down.
Timed to perfection I burst a nice steady stream of water in through the window into the lap of my assailant!
Of course the only thing funnier than scaring a cyclist is humiliating a tradie! Well maybe not in their view. They then proceeded to drive in the cycle lane to chase me. Their mission was short lived as I moved across into the right turn lane through the stopped vehicles.
Now they were stuck over to the left turning lane. The passenger wanted get out & come over. I think the sheer number of potential witnesses stalled him. The driver called out to invite me over. I smiled & declined (never try to fight in road cleats). Eventually my right lane got the green light & off I went. But not before hearing a glass bottle smash nearby.
Risky I know. But some satisfaction in not just copping abuse from cowards.
I rode the same stretch of road this morning with absolutely no incidents or harassment.
Any suggestion that the locals have been stirred into a violent, cyclist hating frenzy is purely in your imagination.
Carry on riding. Nothing to see here!
Oh of course, I wondered why that seemed familiar, I’d have written it thusly though.
“If he shends one of oursh to the hoshpital, you shend one of hish to the morgue.”,
Even intended in jest not a quote I would have lobbed in, last thing I want on the roads is an escalation in confrontation. But as you say, perspective, you have yours and I have mine and they’ll meet in the middle somewhere.
And he sends two of ours to the morgue?
So where and how does this end?
I didn't knife the guy's tyres.
Anyone would think I'd acted out some massive diabolical act of vengeance.
A little perspective.
your squirting with water is assault BTW
That's not true actually. In New South Wales or Victoria where the common law applies, an assault is any act committed intentionally or recklessly which causes another person to believe they are at risk of immediate and unlawful violence. It is arguably the initial act of shouting violently from a moving car at a cyclist in a more vulnerable position which probably constitutes an assault in this instance.
The later attempt to chase down the cyclist and associated verbal threats definitely constitute an assault and a case of predatory driving under sect 51A of the NSW Crimes Act 1990.
Richard, I think this type of behaviour should always be reported to police especially when you are able to locate a willing witness.
I ride that route all the time. Thanks for getting the locals all riled up.
I'm curious.... what do you think (in hindsight) is something you would do ?
Suck it up and ride slowly and as far as possible past the ute with an averted gaze because it came from up the food chain ?
Or slow down / stop behind them so that you don't offend the ute occupants by overtaking them and risk them abusing you when they have to pass you again ?
Hold the moral high ground. Sure, pull up alongside the open window, get out your bidon, point it towards the idiot passenger.
But don't squirt.
Then there is nothing for him to retaliate against, and he also knows you could have if you'd wanted. But you're better than that. Retaliating tit-for-tat doesn't make you a better person, it takes you down to his level, and isn't going to make him a better person either.
If you behave in a meek manner, bullies will always try to walk on you. Same thing you see in schools.
Stand up for yourself in a manner that shows you will not be treated like dirt, and most tend to give a bit of huff & puff before backing down with some last word to shore up their insecurities.
Ride assertively. Indicate your intentions. And wave to say thx when someone waits for you / does a nice thing.
He yelled at you. Did it hurt? Was it worth a retaliation that could've led to injury or death?
I just keep riding. I've seen the aftermath of getting the wrong driver on the wrong day. I plan on getting home alive to my wife and unborn child, thanks.
I would say that the ute peeps are NOT locals.
Like I said - the attitude of this bunch will not change, and they will behave in exactly the same manner to other cyclists, just as they have to earlier cyclists.
If you want drivers to change their attitude? Make it more expensive for them to gain a licence. Then if they fail, it costs them the same money again to gain their licence back. Make it awkward to deal with - in that it means they have to take time & effort to sort it - and I believe people will be more reluctant to lose their licence.
On the plus side. Provides jobs for driver trainers. Stimulates the economy.
I'm all for stricter licencing regulations. Bring it on.
But in the short term I'll do my best not to piss off someone in a 2 tonne death machine who may or may not be mentally unhinged.
Youse guyses can do what you want, just don't come crying when you fuck with the wrong dude, or warnie.