It was a sunny day. I was biking home rather early; there was a cave rescue training that night. And my commute home is nice and quick, as most of it is downhill. So in a nicely high gear I was cruising down North Road West. A good day!
Then all changed. Suddenly a woman and a dog appeared from behind a parked car, straight in front of me. I shouted "watch out!", thought I would run straight over the dog, then realised I was going to hit the woman instead, slammed into her, flew through the air, and landed in a heap on the tarmac.
I was a bit dazed. Slamming into a hard surface always knocks the air out of you, but if you've first had a massive adrenaline burst from knowing you would slam into someone at high speed, it's worse.
I sat up, and told the woman I hoped next time she would PLEASE look where she was going. She had crossed the street, and was standing there, apologising, and asking if I was alright, but not coming anywhere near me. I answered truthfully I wasn't too sure if I was alright. She apologised again. I had a look at my elbows, knees ans bicycle; the damage looked modest. I was still shaken, but there were cars approaching. Quite unlike the woman, the drivers of these looked where they were going, and seemed to not have an inclination to run me over, but I still figured I had better get out of the way. So I stood up, still a bit shaky; picked up my bike, and went to the side of the road.
By then the woman saw her chance and walked away. Not very chivalrous. Yes she did apologise, but what about helping me up? She just left me lying there.
I bent my bike back into shape and rode home. What else could I do? But I was sore, and felt rather abandoned. At home I inspected the damage further; a chafed elbow, and bruises on elbows, knees and hip. Not so bad. But then the adrenaline burst kicked in after all. I burst out into tears. I could do with some sympathy, so as there was nobody around I resorted to modern communications. I texted Hugh, who promptly phoned me and was all worried, and vented my spleen on Facebook. Immediately I got a response: "Sorry to hear that Margot. Were you in Beirut? Aka North Road West/ East Stonehouse?". Well yes. It was bad enough this incident happened; it's worse to find out people actually expect such behaviour in this part of town...