Ego actually is a dirty word
Another glorious ride home, another middle-aged man with an incipient heart-attack left in my wake.
I'm riding homewards, and it is just the nicest day to be out of the office a smidge early and on one's bicycle - not too hot, the wind is a tailwind or a sidewind, but thankfully never a headwind.
After a little rust-bucket tries to change lane on me; as in literally on me, and I direct a cheery little stream of profanity into their open passenger window, I shrug and give up on my fellow hoomins and pop on over to the adjacent bike lane. I'm pretty mellow this early in the cyclist hunting season.
Why was I not already in the bike lane, you may ask ? Because it is in absolute shit repair, it's a shared walking/cycling path, strewn with abandoned shopping trolleys, potholes, inexplicable drifts of sand and gravel and pedestrians who walk five abreast ignoring our mandatory bike bells - in other words it's a bloody disgrace. And also because it's not mandatory to ride in a bike lane.
So I bip on over and join this dude waiting at the lights on the bike path. I think I've seen him around, and I suspect from seeing him in passing he has an e-bike. I think not much more of him than that; lights change, off we go.
Of course I'm out in the lead, because my bike is awesome. I see an approaching pedestrian, walking on the wrong side of the lane naturally, and I go to change lane to allow them to pass without disturbing them, but I can't, because old mate from the lights is suddenly riding in parallel with me; he's in the wrong lane, huffing and puffing mightily and very red in the face, and more importantly boxing me in so I can't move for the walker. I look sideways at him in amazement, but he won't move.
The pedestrian steps off onto the grass, no doubt going home to write in their blog about "bloody cyclists" racing through Macquarie Uni.
Eh. Sometimes one races, and sometimes races are thrust upon one.
I SMH, and actually put some effort into it, and leave him and his red face and flying droplets of sweat behind. I don't mind chatting about my bike's capabilities, and I'll happily cop to it being electric, but don't try and shoulder me off a path and expect me to drop back to protect your ego. Yeah, c'mon, if you think you're good enough. Just don't be a dick about it.
He chased me all throughout Macquarie until I entered the National Park and he dropped further and further behind in my rear-view mirror. I vaguely hoped I wasn't leaving a corpse by the path side for the next cyclist to have to bunny-hop over.
I got home and patted my bike fondly.