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Rage at Hope Slide
I was thoroughly enjoying my time with Rick den B., Barry C. and Maciej S. on the Sunshine 400; the temperature was pleasant, the road was flat ( to start), and the winds were friendly ( at least when going east). But that changed when Maciej and I approached the information board at the Hope Slide Rest Area to seek the answer to the control question. There were several couples standing in front of, reading, the info board as we slowly rolled up to a stop, about 2m behind and to the right of this one couple. I didn’t see the dog, it was in front of the man ( it was on a leash, a small poodle cross of some sort). It suddenly turned and became visible and yelped, almost in pain. Maciej thought the owner had accidentally stepped on one of the dog's paws. What happen next was incredible. The man, who was holding the leash, turned and stepped towards me ( and Maciej) SCREAMING obscenities about irresponsible cyclists. I responded ( badly I admit), Maciej stepped up, loudly suggesting the man have a “pleasant day” as he headed back to his motor home, still screaming, cursing a blue streak.
Rick and Barry arrived on the scene, they may have observed the tail end of the commotion. I (we) had no way of knowing which direction the screamer was heading and the thought of him, in his state of mind, passing ( possible in a threatening, dangerous way) us descending the hill down to Hope was disconcerting. I decided to capture a photo of his motor home and license plate number, just in case that things went badly. This really ‘p****d him off.
He lept out of the unit screaming at me again, trying to block me taking a photo of his unit and shouting that I was preventing him from backing up. We were now literally face to face with the bike between us, him pushing the bike back onto me. I thought I was about to get punched. Rick, who saw what was unfolding thought the same ( he told me later) and had started to wheel toward me. I saw him coming towards us. I looked towards him and called his name, backup appeared to be in order. . The subconscious message was Rick, I think I may need your help! If you don’t know Rick, he is 6’4” weighs 215 lbs and is a retired military policeman. Even seated on his recumbent trike he is an imposing figure.
I didn’t see the guy leave, Rick did; he was heading east ( thankfully). Rick said the jerk cut across the path of a west bound car as he made a left hand turn to cross into the east bound lanes. What really scares me, is the latent anger that this guy might harbour when he sees another cyclist on the road.
The rest of the ride went well. I’m looking forward to an upcoming 600.
August 19, 2020