I walk the puppy in the park for at least an hour every day as well as for little 15 minute strolls along the road. Mr PinQ takes her for a longer walk down to the beach but at 33 weeks pregnant, that’s a bit much for me to manage so we go out with a flinger, a ball and a bottle of iced water.
To get there, I have to cross the bridge over the Creek and from our house, the best way is via a little pedestrian cut through. Not 10 metres past said cut through is a path that is split half and half pedestrian and cycle path. Both ends of the cut through has a no cycling sign:
The cycle path entrances on the other hand, have signs showing that it is a cycle path:
There is a clear white line separating the pedestrian and cycle lanes, painted bicycles at each end of the cycle path itself and along the route, several signs to show that there is a split:
Now, as a cyclist AND a pedestrian (and a driver but obviously not along there!) I frequently use said cycle lanes and pedestrian lanes as appropriate – even though it means cycling that extra 10 metres or so *tongue firmly in cheek*.
Today, Puppy and I had just stopped to watch the young foxes play and were proceeding along the cut through when I heard a shout behind me. I turned around to find a man in his forties on what was clearly a ladies bike, hollering at me to get out of the way. I refused, turned to face him and stood my ground.
N.B. I ALWAYS challenge anyone who cycles up there, there are mums with babies and toddlers, elderly people and dogs (with their owners) who use that cut through and are all less able to get out of the way of bikes quickly in a such a narrow space.
I said very plainly: “No. There is a cycle path less than 10 metres away and this path is clearly signposted as No Cycling.”
And thus began his torrent of abuse. I can swear with the best of them but it really isn’t a good way to get your point across. He was calling me a f***ing a***hole and other choice phrases and shouting that if I hadn’t been there, he would have just gone through. To which I replied quietly, “I know.”
At that, he realised that he had lost and he turned around and went up the cycle path, still shouting abuse.
We met again at the junction of the two paths and in reply to his barrage of swearing and insults I said simply, “Well, maybe you didn’t understand the signs because maybe you just aren’t bright enough.”
He obviously didn’t like that because he stopped on the bridge, got off the bike and leaned it against the ironwork and turned to face me.
I remember my Tai Chi Instructor once telling me about her ‘elephant arm’, where her body took over when she sensed trouble one night. Mine did. I got ready for the fight that he wanted. After all, stopping on the bridge demonstrates premeditation on his part and as a heavily pregnant woman, no-one would have blamed me for kicking seven shades out of him. Those of you who know me know that I am an absolute puss-cat but you also know me well enough to know that it takes a hell of a lot to make me lose my temper and an awful lot more to make me violent but I would have happily wiped the floor with the little ****.
He squared up to me and began to swear at me again but when he saw my body language and expression and heard me mutter, “come on then” he couldn’t get away fast enough. It was quite comical.
Puppy and I were then able to have a lovely walk and play in the sun.