There’s always a new experience waiting to happen when you jump on a bike and tonight was no exception. I made a last minute arrangement to meet a couple of friends for a drink, and of course jumped on the bike for the short ride down to the pub. I arrived and was looking for somewhere to lock up the bike when suddenly I was approached by someone.

‘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?

Views: 385

Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on April 18, 2011 at 9:50am
Is the dog OK?
Comment by Neil Alexander on April 18, 2011 at 9:58am

Now, if she had said, "I remember the bike had a table strapped to the back of it", you would have been in deep sh!t.

(Who cares about the dog, MB? If people keep the sort of dog you'd want to step on and let it run out of control off the leash, then it deserves to be run over. Noelbike would back me up on this. At least it wasn't a cat. That would have been a tragedy.)

Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on April 18, 2011 at 10:13am
That is cruel Neil.  Who said the dog was off-leash anyway....?  (Easy to see you have a cat and I have a dog.  ;-)  ).  or do you still have a cat.....?
Comment by Neil Alexander on April 18, 2011 at 10:22am
No. But no-one had better run over my chooks. (Though, come to think of it, why would my chickens cross the road?)
Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on April 18, 2011 at 10:45am
LOL.  Not grumpy today then?  (yet).  :-)
Comment by Trevor on April 18, 2011 at 11:14am
So, in other words, if it hadn't been for your friends and the 'mate-of-a-mate-of-a mate' aspect to this incident, you could have been beaten up by this group with the lady walking away, safe in the knowledge that she and her friends had done their little bit to keep the world safe from dastardly cyclists.
Comment by Susan on April 18, 2011 at 11:44am
I do hope the lady's dog will be OK? It would be terrible to have a pet be injured. After she had calmed down it was very nice of her to come back and buy you drinks.
Comment by PeterT on April 18, 2011 at 12:39pm

That was sure an experience.

 

Although she did seem very sure it was you at the beginning. You don't to have a history of sleep-riding , do you?

On another note I constantly warn my kids of dogs and the danger of passing between a dog and possible owner  for the multitude of reasons - invisible leashes, dog running to the owner, owner swerving towards the dog, dog taking a chunk out of the leg, or even worse, out of the tyre or frame.

Comment by Rob Berry on April 18, 2011 at 1:03pm
As a dog owner and a cyclist (and a cyclist who cycles with my dog on the bike, or rather on a trailer at the back of the bike), I'm very careful about dogs - they are really unpredictable and often move in the worst direction possible when they come upon a bike. Just slow down or even stop if you think there is a chance of a collision - even if you don't care about running over another living creature (but seriously, how could you not?), at least care for your bike and avoid the potential wheel replacement. Shared space is for sharing.
Comment by Michael S. (Boxhead) on April 18, 2011 at 1:37pm

@Neil - careful about the dog hate talk. You might get a visit from Big G (all 2 kg of him):

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