I ride my BMX to and from work everyday. Sure, I get looks rocking up to the ABC on a “kids’ bike” with fluro pink handgrips and noisy spokey-dokes but it’s a fast, cheap and healthy way to get around – and it’s fun. Well, usually.
It was definitely not fun last week when an old man threatened to “smash my fucking face in” for riding on the footpath on my way home. There’s a 50-meter section of a crazy-busy main road where I stick to the ‘footie’ until I reach my bike lane turn off. It’s next to a church and there are generally a few pedestrians to be mindful of.
As I was riding past I noticed an elderly couple up ahead, so slowed right down and moved to the left of the footpath, making eye contact with them.
The lady moved across to make way, however her husband didn’t budge.
Instead he held my gaze and walked defiantly towards me like it was a game of chicken.
I had to stop and get off my bike. As they passed I muttered, “Excuse me!” And that set him off.
The man turned around and screamed at me – “You stupid fucking idiot. You should be riding on the fucking road!” – as another burst of cars and buses whizzed past.
Totally shocked, I told him to “get fucked”.
I now know that was a bit silly because psychos are just looking for any excuse to be psycho.
He then came over, leant in close so I could see the veins popping out of his head, and said he was going to “smash my fucking face in”.
His embarrassed wife waited up ahead.
Not wanting to push my luck, I told him he’d go to jail if he did that.
Thankfully a man with a pram walked by and told the old bastard to stop being ridiculous and calm down.
He kept on ranting so I thanked the helpful stranger and rode off.
Perhaps this dude had had a bad experience with a cyclist in the past – but I couldn’t help but wonder – would he have been so aggressive if I was a feminine young lady riding a cute girls’ bike with a basket, instead of a BMX-riding tomboy?
Either way – what a knob.