This matter is now in the hands of my lawyers - Part the First
[Edit; I cannot believe I have not yet posted this saga from March !? I've been sitting on an at least 4-part gem of a mini-series. Well, here we go...]
Predictably and yet still with a touch of sadness, the honeymoon between motorists and myself is over.
I had such high hopes we could make it …
This morning I just could. Not. Get. Out. Of. Bed. Not at 6am I couldn’t. It was still dark, and sleep has been an elusive biatch this week.
But eventually if I wanted to ride my bike in, there was no delaying it further and at 6.45 I dragged myself and SO out into the crack of dawn, setting off just after 7am. This was going to be a completely different ride in, far more traffic, but more light, but more traffic. More traffic, more fumes. So, more of the things I like the least, but I am already very over getting up an hour earlier than necessary to make a bunch of self-entitled drivers feel better about their trip.
Surprisingly it actually went really, really well. The traffic was already stop-start, but drivers were giving us clearance, and no-one seemed inclined to express their half-arsed opinion that we were the sole source of their slow trip into town.
Ironically, right outside the police station at Gordon, an angry, nasty little man with the soul of a peanut, and probably a similarly sized penis, accelerated alongside of us and cut abruptly in front because, as he said later on, we didn’t have the right to ride side-by-side and take up a lane.
Now, it’s one thing to feel someone is breaking a traffic law. It’s another to decide you have the right to personally enforce that law with physical violence in a 2 ton vehicle against two other human beings on 10kg bikes.
Why, with that sort of thinking I could take it upon myself to cut the left-hand off a school-kid shoplifting a mars bar from the corner shop, bury an adulterer neck-deep in the ground and throw rocks at their head until they die in the utmost agony, or I could rob someone in my taxi because they were drunk and fell asleep.
The defence in all of these cases runs along the lines of “Well, in MY opinion they were asking for it”: however these last three examples are roundly condemned by Australian society and media when they occur; why then is deliberately aiming your car at someone on a bike not only tolerated with a "Meh" and a shrug by many sections of society, and in some cases applauded ?
Anyhoo, as we well knew but Numbnuts didn't, cyclists are legally permitted to ride two abreast, see point 10 on the page from the NSW Government Transport website below. Like someone on the witness stand I've even left the Gub'mint URL showing in the screenshot. Bah.
So not only was he acting as a violent sociopath, he was also wrong. What an asshat.
Which is what we told him, as the traffic continued to stop start and we re-overtook him.
Note, if you’re going to be an asshat, make sure you don’t get stuck in traffic where your targets can catch up to you. And don’t leave your windows open.
Because the traffic and therefore we were stationery so long, we three actually got into quite the back and forth shouting match on the finer points of law, philosophy and which one of the three of us was the bigger fucking dickhead (spoiler alert; it was him) I even had time in the stalled traffic to whip out the iPhone and took a photo of his licence plate, which if he hadn’t already been annoyed really raised him to apoplexy levels. He’s even posing quite conveniently with a raised fist.
Also conveniently, Bicycle Network hosted a breakfast for riders at the foot of the harbour bridge, and when I stopped off for a quick cappuccino with a side order of JUSTICE, I recounted the tale, they took my details for their legal team to get in touch about appropriate avenues to pursue. I’m more than happy to take this as far as I legally can, because someone who drives as angrily as that and uses their car as a weapon simply shouldn’t be on the road. Not only for the sake of cyclists, but for pedestrians and other motorists.
One less car indeed. I know which specific one I’d settle for right now….