Cycling in Sydney Australia
‘I know you!’ she declaimed vehemently, staring at me with wild eyes.
Oh dear. One of those unwanted interactions that makes for an uncomfortable few moments. Was she drunk? Crazy?
My answer of ‘No, I don’t think you do’ was ignored as she continued.
‘You ran over my dog! On that bike!’
I have to say, I was a bit taken aback by that. All very random, and not what I expected. ‘I have no idea what you are talking about, I’m sorry.’
‘It was you!’ she cried. ‘You ran over my dog in the park, on that bike. It was you!’
Noting that she had two other friends approaching (another woman and a man), I decided it was time to leave.
‘I’m very sorry to hear about your dog, but it has absolutely nothing to do with me. Excuse me’. I swung my leg over the bike, and started to pedal away. The guy runs after me and grabs the back of the bike. I’m debating whether to pedal harder and try and break his grip or stop when I see the two friends I am meeting. I have to say, I was quite pleased to see them. Relieved, in fact.
I stopped, and further conversation ensued between the six of us. The woman repeats her accusation; her dog was run over in a nearby park by someone on a bike ‘exactly like’ mine, with a bell that sounds ‘exactly like’ mine. I actually think this is unlikely; I’m riding the Radish which is hardly a common sight, and I have an old-school ‘bring bring’ bell as opposed to the usual ‘ting ting’ variety. Still, this is not the sort of argument that is going to be won by logic.
There is a breakthrough. One of my friends knows a friend of a friend of one of the trio accusing me of dog-hitting. Agreement is reached that I am in fact probably not responsible. Apologies are muttered.
I lock up the bike and we go in for the beer that, by now, I am really in need of. We are ordering at the bar when the dog-woman comes in.
‘I am so sorry,’ she says. ‘My dog was hit by a cyclist and was badly injured and I’m very upset, but I shouldn’t have accused you. I am so sorry’.
I tell her that it is all fine, but she insists on buying us all a drink to apologise.
So all is well that ends well, but if anyone does know of a dog-hating radish-riding bring-bring-bell-toting outlaw who ran down a Jack Russell terrier in a park in the Lilyfield area some weeks ago perhaps you could encourage them to turn themselves in?