Fuck me, this has been a bad week for riding as far as close calls go. Every day has been a litany of idiot drivers opening doors without looking, cars deciding to pull out from a side street without giving way, wingnuts going around me without giving me much room and other cyclists trying to kill me in head on collisions.
I had a non-close encounter tonight with a bus full of meat heads. It was a Coaster bus that was on hire, and I suspect the inhabitants were on their way to the Casino. As they went past me as I rode around the back of Darling Harbour, one friendly character stuck his head out the window and told me to "Get off the fucking road", which was choice, given that I was riding in the bike lane and was not really "on the road". I certainly wasn't in the way of his busfull of drunks.
I caught up with the bus at the next set of lights and thought better of grabbing the bloke by the elbow (sticking out of the window) and giving it a good yank. He was gripping a packet of Winfields in one hand a VB stubbie in the other, and all his mates had mullets and stubbies and appeared to be dressed only in blue singlets. They all sounded drunk as skunks. They smelled like Labor voters.
Why did they smell like Labor voters?
Well I bet that they sure as fuck didn't vote for Howard at the last election, and they didn't strike me as the kind of wishy-washy fairyheads that vote Green. No, these were dyed in the wool, dinky-di, heartland blue collar Labor voters. And they hated cyclists.
Poor old Labor must be in a bit of an internal lather. Out west, you've got your blue collar bogans that want nothing less than a V8 ute to tow a ski boat with a V8 motor back to their 9 bedroom McMansion with a 50 inch plasma in every room. They are the kind of people that think that the SuperNats is great culture (as do I) and that polar bears make great throw rugs in the media room. They are about as committed to consuming less as an alcoholic is to drinking less.
Face it, if you are one generation away from poverty, why are you going to give up all the good things in life like air conditioning, overseas travel, V8's, plasma TV's and so on just because a bunch of sandal wearing wierd beards tell you to? It's all very well for someone that was born with a silver spoon up their arse to say "I will forgo these things" because they had them from the day they first broke wind. But it's not so easy for say a plumber that grew up one pay packet away from the poverty line and has finally made good. They'll be giving the whole global warming malarky two fingers and I say good luck to them.
I reckon the attitude to bikes says it all. Why would anyone ride a bike when they could afford to drive a ute with a six litre donk under the hood? You'd have to be mad, gay or feral (to their way of thinking), and therefor deserve to be run over by a bus.
I'm not sure how the lefties that invaded the party since the 1970's are going to be reconciled to the bogans out in the heartland.
I'll just stay out of the way of buses in future.