Monday 19 August 2013

Never heard of "floor it"

By Friday, I'm usually knackered and the ride home is slower than normal. However, that was not the case last week - I felt better by the end of the week than at the start, so I was belting it as I left work and headed out of town.

There's a long, straight, flat stretch of road that I ride along after exiting The Rocks. On a good day, due to the placement of a couple of speed bumps, I can outpace the cars for most of its length. On Friday, I was on fire and well and truly out in front.

This road has lots of car parking along both sides, and on Friday afternoons, people are in a rush to leave, so I was not super surprised when an MX-5 pulled out of a car park in front of me. The driver looked at me, saw me, and then started off.

Now I know that the MX-5 is a sports car, and it is capable of pretty sporty performance. I've got friends who have drooled over them for years. The only problem here was that the driver was not very sporty - or not in a sporty mood that day. She pulled out just fast enough to get in my way, but not fast enough to then get out of my way. In fact, she accelerated that thing like a busted slug. If she'd floored it and taken off like an MX-5 is designed to do, I wouldn't have had any headaches.

The problem with these moments is the lack of drama. If I'd been in my 4WD, you would have heard the screaming tyres a mile away as I slammed on the brakes, and then a good dose of horn to top it off. With a bike, you're braking so hard you can't even raise a fist to shake it. The most you might hear is a loud, "You fucking moron" being bellowed at the back of the car.

Anyway, she took off that slowly that after braking hard to avoid her, I managed to zip around, get in front and take off.

I would have left it at that except for what happened up the road. The road splits into two lanes, and I of course was in the left hand lane. As we approached a set of red lights, she decided she wanted to be in that lane too, so she roared past me and then hoiked it to the left - without indicating - at the last possible moment. She made things even more annoying by braking as she muscled into my lane. That was case 2 of truly shit driving.

I've been taught to never hit a woman, but by crikey, I was sorely tempted to drop the bike, walk around to her door and deck her. I've never had two close calls with the same car in under 2 minutes.

In my younger days, I would have dismissed this with "Bloody women drivers". That is, women can't drive. That's clearly wrong - she could drive a car, and I've nearly run into plenty of totally crap drivers of both sexes, all ages and most nationalities to know that it's silly to single out women. She could drive -what she totally lacked was judgement and empathy. What she didn't lack was big boofy blonde hair.

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