Small victories and bad juju.


This morning I had yet another run in with a motor vehicle while on my commute. This time is was with a massive flatbed truck, exactly the kind you don’t want to mess with. The truck was going to turn right, and to make enough room for himself he veered left into the bike lane, right in front of me, cutting me off. Funnily I was suspicious as soon as I saw him, in the sixth sense spooky way that you sometimes get while on your bike in peak hour traffic, so I wasn’t altogether surprised when he cut me off. I was still a little pissed of though, because he could have killed me, so in my zen Buddhist kind of way I rode over and began to yell at him to stop and wind his window down. Initially he was quite defensive, as most people are when being yelled at by a loser on a bike. I told him he cut me off, and he responded that he had indicated. I pointed out that he didn’t indicate as he veered left into the bike lane, but did indicate that he was turning right. He thought about it for a minute, and then did the strangest thing I have ever seen in my time as a commuter. He agreed with me! “Sorry mate” he said. I was taken aback, in all of my communications with motorists it is a very rare thing for a driver to acknowledge that they may have been in the wrong, but he did. I thanked him, giving him a thumbs up, and continued on my merry way. Perhaps, I thought to myself, he will look next time. I understand the difficulties he must have driving such a massive thing, and maneuvering it must be a bit of a nightmare, but if my little spat at him will help him look that little bit harder next time, maybe I might help someone else from getting run over in the future. How self important I am, I thought as I trundled down the road.

Speaking of that strange feeling you get when badness is looming out there on the streets, I noticed a whole big bag of bad juju as I headed home from work a couple of nights ago. It’s the strangest thing, that feeling of dread that seems to hang over the city at certain times. I’m not sure if it was because of my notion of doom that perhaps I rode more cautiously than usual, but I made it to the city without incident. Then as I was climbing the hill to RMIT I had to weave through a large group of people who were waiting for the tram to pull up, but felt it was better to wait on the road than on the footpath. “You’re supposed to stop” a woman’s voice called out. I turned to see a middle aged woman glaring at me. I agreed that cyclists are supposed to stop for trams, but once the tram had indicated its stopping with those funny little orange flashing lights on the side, and that she shouldn’t be waiting in the middle of the road. She huffed at me and told me that she would remember that the next time she was driving and “you run a red light.” I told her I didn’t run reds, which isn’t strictly true, although I don’t make a habit out of it, and she replied “you must be the only one in creation.” She then boarded the tram and was out of my life. But she wasn’t out of my head, damn it. I wish I had a chance to talk to her in greater depth about the issues that were raised in ire. I wish I had a chance to tell her that two wrongs don’t make a right, and all that other self righteous crap, but the thing that bugged me most was her “you cyclists” mentality. I am a single cyclist, and by no means do I claim to represent anyone else out there in the world who cycles, nor would I want to. To be fair, I sometimes tend to lump motorists into one evil seething bag of distrust, but mostly out of safety’s sake. I find the safest way to not get killed on the roads is to not trust motorists one little bit. But to lump all “us cyclists” in together seems a little harsh. Of course there are bad cyclists out there, the ones that mountain bike jump onto the footpath in order to run a red light etc, but seriously, come on lady! Maybe if you got in the saddle once in your life you would see what it means out there on the streets.

Anyway, needless to say, the bad juju wasn’t that bad. I just had an annoying run-in with an annoying pedestrian. It could have been much worse. At least she wasn’t driving a flat bed truck.


3 Responses to “Small victories and bad juju.”

  1. 1 Ennio Swaggart July 30, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    The day before you posted this I had a run-in with a dog owner on the city trail path in Princess Park. The dog and owner were in an ‘on leash area’, but the dog and owner weren’t tethered. I wouldn’t have minded if the dog stayed where it was, but the little bastard saw me and ran at me yapping. I thought I was going to run it over, so braked hard, pulling up just short of the dog. I turned to the owner, a guy in his 70s and asked him if he could see the sign next to the path that said “dogs must be on leash”. He said what about it? I repeated the question and this time he replied “I don’t care”. Just then another cyclist went by with the dog chasing and yapping at them. I realised there was no point in talking to this selfish basted, so I rode off. The dog gave chase again, but this time I gave it a little nudge with my foot.

  2. 2 Ennio Swaggart July 31, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I saw that guy with the dog again this morning. He must have recognised me because when I said good morning to him he told me to “F**k off.” Oh.. sorry, my keyboard is broken, that should have read “Fuck off”.

    While I’m here, my other post should have read “shell fish bastard” not basted.

  3. 3 admin July 31, 2009 at 10:37 am

    You need to start photographing these cranky old men. And, I do like basted shell fish. Yum.

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