I cycled passed 2 teenage boys today on the above shared path in Scone, and as I approached them it occurred to me they were watching me way too intently & that they had assumed complete control of the path. "Whoa", I thought, "am I about to be pushed off?" This unpleasant notion presented as a real possibility.
So I immediately engaged them with a breezy greeting, "hey! how're you going?" to which they grunted "good thanks", but by the time we'd put half an Olympic Swimming Pool between us, they had turned round (as I did too now) and yelled "Old bitch! Ride a f#*king normal bike!!"
I was in 2 minds to cycle after them to get them to repeat what they had just said but with all my shopping and many more kilometres to go before home, I couldn't be bothered, and by now the gutless little 'toe-rags' had bolted.
But I feel that this episode of juvenile crass behaviour has highlighted the murky & exclusive nature of Australian cycling.
That my age, gender and choice of bicycle was perceived by them to preclude me from cycling is an indictment of our Australian society - and there's no dodging it - this is how we are. In fact, these ridiculous little boys unwittingly tapped into the 'Australian bicycle view'...that it belongs only to the following:
* young sporty men on young sporty machines
Pathetic - we should be ashamed of ourselves.
How did this sense of male entitlement pervade through our society?
Why did these boys feel emboldened enough to attempt to intimidate me?
.....talk about 'out of the mouths of babes'.....
Inter alia, their 'comment' echoed a sentiment posted on this blog last week by an annoymous reader - 'get off the road, granny', I was commanded imperiously!!