I was accompanying my wife to work this morning, a lovely ride along the Broadwater on a lovely summers morning (suffer in your undies if you’re reading this from the northern hemisphere), and our conversation inevitably turned to Warnie and his calls for registration of bikes.

As you know, I’m a great supporter of Warnie and a great supporter of registration. My attitude is, why stop at bikes? The president of the pedestrian council has mumbled a few words of support for bicycle registration and gone further saying bikes should be limited to 10km/hr on shared pathways. Awesome idea! But why stop there? Register pedestrians too and stop those people from running so fast before it’s a fucking bloodbath. You’d be amazed how many people are jogging at speeds IN EXCESS of 10km/hr and I keep wondering to myself why we don’t register these maniacs so we can start reporting them to the police.

Register dog leads too. Five metres of dog lead pulled taught across the path by a Jack-A-Bee is something else I’d like to report. I’m sure the police are bored and are waiting to help me with my problems.

Potential killer. A single Jack-A-Bee with a taught lead can bring down untold cyclists and  crazy speeding joggers.

Anyway, there we were tooling along and discussing things bike related and agreeing on the general opinion that if we cyclist could just display the correct amount of humility and servitude to car drivers they’d be quite happy to let us get on with our lives and only run us down periodically and/or accidentally. And then my wife did something outrageous. She stopped and used a pedestrian crossing to get to the other side of the road to rejoin the bike path. And she cycled across it (at walking speed, yeah, but turning the pedals and sitting on the seat!). Such a reckless and stupid act of antagonism. I can’t say why exactly car drivers care whether we cycle or walk across these crossing but they do and they’ll run you down if they have to just to prove a point.

Not long back I used a crossing at Narrowneck and the female passenger of the car leaned out the window and yelled incoherent abuse while her fella gunned the engine. My problem with these incidents is I see red. And I mean RED. And I chase people down and sometimes I catch up. And one day someone is going to knock my teeth down the back of my neck. So I avoid situations where people verbal me or try and run me down because my fight or flight response is all too readily geared for fight but my body is not. This concerns my wife and I assured her that I now avoid situations where aggression can escalate to confrontation and I would not ever ride across a pedestrian crossing except when accompanied with a female on a girl’s bike (because that seemed to soften the situation for drivers). She suggested I wear spats and a funny shirt. No-one would get aggressive at a guy dressed all funny.

I bid her off at her workplace and was barely out of earshot when I got myself into a confrontation. I was riding on the bike path past a shopping centre and a guy in an SUV towing a jet ski had to run me over to prove a point. I was all flowers and sunshine enjoying my relaxing ride and wasn’t prepared for being run over. I was assuming that the guy would decelerate by as little as 5% to allow me a unhindered ride.What kind of dangerous la-la land had I lapsed into? The correct response from any self-respecting driver (especially of an SUV) was to speed up to prove a point, that is show me what an arsehole I was for getting in the way. He and his lady friend then rolled down the windows and verballed me. And a confrontation ensued. And now I’m guilty of not showing the correct posture of submission and emasculation before a car driver. I feel like I’ve failed my wife, I’ve failed Warnie and I’ve probably failed the president of the pedestrian council too (though it’s hard to care about an association as pedestrian and the pedestrian council).

New moto of the Pedestrian Council. Or pedestrian council if you’re describing rather than naming them.

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