So far I’ve avoided cycling to Garden City, Mt Gravatt. I’ve always caught the bus. However, I figured it was time to conquer Kessells Rd once and for all. It was a rough ride. Luckily, I recently purchased a swanky new seat as mine broke. The seat is AWESOME! The pole has suspension and the seat itself is all smooshy and cushy. So despite getting stuck for about 500m on a roadwork-affected pedestrian footpath, I survived.
I did ride on the road a lot, along Evans and Orange Grove Road. It wasn’t too busy, so it made sense. Plus I’ve raised the height of my seat and now have heaps more control, so my mojo was rockin’. However, after Griffith Uni, it got a bit hairy so I hopped onto the footpath.
I hate big shopping centres. I find them cold, busy and generally rather weird. I just don’t relate to the enjoyment factor so many others seem to experience. I went there on Saturday morning to go to Medicare. While there, I bought a new pair of shoes (for cycling and gym) and went to the movies. Movies was fun. Was nice to kick back and relax.
After the movies, I found my bike safe and sound and then went to exit the shopping centre. Most of the time, in my inner and near-city travels, I generally don’t have to get off the bike to cross a pedestrian crossing. Even though it’s required, I’ve never experienced a driver who’s demanded it. Drivers are generally pretty cool that way, well, at least in the places I usually cycle.
The shopping centre exit road was pretty busy and I figured I wasn’t in a bike-friendly area, so I decided to dismount and walk my bike across the pedestrian crossing. The first car (driver?) wasn’t going to stop, so I made to cross to make a point of it (her?) stopping. I didn’t put myself in a dangerous or precarious position. The woman in the car waved me across. Gee. How. Nice.
As I approached the centre of the pedestrian crossing, the 4WD approaching looked like it was going a little too fast, so I hesitated a bit and it slowed down so I finished my walk. At the other end, I wheeled my bike onto the footpath, turned it to face the direction I was heading in and hopped on.
What happened next? THE MOST BIZARRE THING I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED!!! To mark my year on the road as a cyclist perhaps?
A car that was travelling behind the 4WD drove up onto the gutter towards me, drove about 3 metres along the footpath right beside me and then jumped back off the gutter and back onto the road!
I wasn’t scared. He wasn’t going to hit me, but clearly my presence really disturbed him and he felt like being a complete arsehole in a car.
Please understand that it wasn’t a curb he drove up onto and nor was he driving a 4WD. He was so pissed off at my sheer existence that he drove up onto a high gutter and drove off again which would’ve beaten his wheels up a bit – and it wasn’t an old car or anything.
I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t even shocked, to be honest. I was absolutely fuming. Which is heaps better than getting upset.
I looked around to try and make eye contact with others who may have seen what had happened, but no one at all would make eye contact with me or interact. I even raised my hands Italian-style and pointed and gestured, but nothin’!
So I flipped the bird, hoping he’d see in his rear view mirror that I was not at all scared, but was seriously pissed off.
Not sure if that was the reaction he was after. Probably.
Nor was I sure how else I was meant to react…
Any better suggestions welcome. In the meantime, I might just stick to Kansas for a while. Last week all I had to contend with was being yelled at out of cars 3 times, scammed by a couple with small kids at a bus stop and chased by a drunk man.
Someone driving up onto the footpath to ‘pretend hit me’ is taking abuse to a whole new level.