‘I buckle my helmet, check both ways, and pull out slowly into the intersection. As I do a car comes out of nowhere, breaks hard and I swerve. We miss each other and I pull around so I’m on the right side of the road. And then I am assailed by the swearing, the shouting, the angry words pouring out of the car towards me. I am called names and the driver threatens to kill me, moving to force me off the road as she does so. I pull onto the sidewalk and she gets out of her car. I keep cycling. She catches up with me at the next intersection where I wait for a red light. As I make to cross she whips her car in front of me, cutting me off. I avoid eye contact but the barrage of hate directed toward the “f-ing white bitch on the bike” crashes into me. I wait silently and as she pulls off she swerves in again to hit my front wheel. She speeds off and I cautiously cross. I’m shaking and a tear runs down my cheek. Once again I am caught up in the dramatic and chaotic fallout of an emotionally volatile and unstable community.’

[my beautiful wife Valerie, aka tbV, excerpt from yesterday’s blog post titled ‘On passivism and peace.’

She left the office after morning prayer to go and work at home [the incident happened on the way to work] and i stayed til 4pm and then cycled home.

As i am cycling i come up to this four way stop or at least i think it is. Before i have even figured out if it’s a stop the other way or not the car coming from my right to left slows down completely so i figure it must be and start to cycle across the intersection. Then he starts to go and I’m like, ‘What?’ but i am pretty much across now and so he stops again and i cycle past. He hoots [honks his horn for the Americanese among us] loudly and shouts as he drives away and i point at my eyes in a ‘Look where you’re going dude’ way and continue straight. i am very aware the whole time of what happened with Val this morning and as i pull up at the following traffic light there is a car behind me and i start to semi panic but surely this guy can’t have followed me [he went straight so it would have meant a whole block turn]. but the truck next to me at the lights is dark blue and the one i had moments with was white. crisis averted.

The light changes colour and i start cycling and the blue truck goes past and i am just down the road from the turn off to our street. Suddenly i am aware of another vehicle next to me and the next second i hear a loud bang and something has hit my back wheel.

That’s right. Two bicycle attacks in one day. This dude has driven around the block and come up alongside me so that his son [aged maybe 14 to 16] can throw his half full Arizona iced tea bottle at me on my bike. As they drive away the kid is repeating his action out the window [like a cricket player replaying at attempted shot] probably showing off to his dad how he accomplished the deed. Great parenting technique dad.

So mine was a lot funnier than Val’s for sure. More a case of ‘What the flip? Did that just happen?’ But it was just bizarre that both happened on the same day. And just seeing the level of aggression that exists with drivers in this area.

Val showed a lot of sensitivity and care for me when i got home and recounted the story of my violent street attack. Well, once she stopped laughing, that is.

Warning: Tea may be closer than it appears.

Warning: Tea may be closer than it appears.