The last few miles of a wonderful first ride of the year got ruined by a plonker. And now, after some hours thinking about what happened yesterday, I know that we should maybe have acted differently, since now it is too late. And I honestly can’t be arsed since the work from our side will be a lot and with some banging our heads against the wall for little effect towards the plonker. Such is the system today.
Here is a little background on why I did what I did last night. I ride in a zen-like way and don’t let others egg me on, because when I’ve arrived at my destination I really don’t want to spend time calming down again. Because my work and my friends do not want to hear me ranting along about the bad behaviour of some stupid plonker of a driver, pedestrian or cyclist.
So yesterday we had a day out with great friends and a beautiful ride and were on our way over to some good friends for a cup of tea and cake. This great day I was not in mood to be ruined because of some plonker with no road sense. So therefore I rode ‘zen’ and just wanted to get on with it and continue to enjoy this wonderful day.
I have read quite a few stories online about incidents when no one was hurt and the police just said ‘move along’. At the best if the police can find the plonker, they might go around and have a word. And honestly I find that worthless, if the plonker was dumb enough to do what he did, I don’t think ‘a word’ would stop him from doing it again. But to get to that you have to endure the police who are busy with other things. You really have to push the issue. And I really didn’t want to end a good day out in a police station filling in forms, to maybe have just a word spoken to the plonker.
So what happened yesterday, we were on Pope’s Lane coming up to the junction of South Ealing Road heading straight over to Little Ealing Lane. I was in front at the stop line, around 3-4 feet out from the kerb. Wow was behind me, around 4-5 feet away from the kerb, with Peli behind. Behind us was a row of cars and the first in line was Mr. Plonker. The stop line is set back some yards from the junction to let buses turn into Pope’s Lane. We are heading straight into Little Ealing Lane, where there is a narrowing with bollards in the middle of the road for pedestrians and traffic lights.
All three of us were in secondary to primary position of the lane and when it turned green we all set off. Though the plonker tried his best to overtake. But, he then figured out he couldn’t overtake, given the narrowing of the road ahead, and the oncoming traffic who were turning right. So, Mr and Mrs Plonker started to shout at us and pull in towards us, but had me and Wow shouting back and Peli squeezed at the back. He managed to push past, since we cyclists are soft targets and moved away. Mrs Plonker was also so busy shouting out the window while giving us the “reverse victory salute” though her hand got stuck in the window while rolling it up and she couldn’t pull her hand back in.
This of course made me laugh out loud. Since I have thought about it, I know laughing wasn’t a smart move. I should have kept quiet and I’m sure that the plonker would have zoomed along and out of our way. But my burst of laughter caused Mr Plonker to slam on the brakes and jump out of the car. Mr Plonker jumped out, headed towards me (I was still on the bike) with a large amount of aggression and gave me a good shove on the shoulder, which pushed me into the lane of oncoming traffic. Fortunately no cars were coming, and I did not fall off the bicycle. I did not physically retaliate. This is the point when I should have stopped and called the police and reported the assault, but read the above again.
Wow had now come up front of the car to block it from moving, and Peli was behind the car taking photos. Mr Plonker now was busy telling Wow where we should cycle on the road and I went over to tell him that he was wrong. In the car the Mrs Plonker was busy getting her phone out to take photos along with an approximately twelve-year old child we assume was their son. Wow also took out his camera to take photos.
Peli then moved up to front of the car on the inside of the car, and slightly nudged the car’s wheel arch with her pedal. This caused Mrs Plonker to jump out and shriek that Peli had damaged her car. Little Plonker was also out of the car trying to find the camera function on his phone. Mr. Plonker then rushed over to stand in front of Peli, blocking her way, shouting and swearing very aggressively in her face to hand over her license details. I had now parked up my bicycle and moved next to Mr. Plonker and he started to claim the same as Mrs Plonker: that the car was damaged. When Peli had parked her bicycle up she told Mrs and Mr Plonker that she was happy to call the police there and then, and got out her phone. He suddenly changed his tune and said he didn’t want the police involved. When I asked him to show me the damage to his car, he began to claim he could not understand my accent.
Wow, Peli and I were now all off our bicycles, taking photos and talking about calling the police. Mr and Mrs Plonker quickly got into the car and started to drive off at speed, before Little Plonker had got into the car properly which caused the kid to dangle out of the door for a metre or so, before they stopped to let him in.
This is the first time I had someone jumping out of their car and come at me. Plenty of swear words and hand gestures and then drive off, but never physical contact. I do hope this is a one off to never to be repeated.
This was clearly not a good way to end a fantastic day out. Honestly, spending a few hours in the police station in the hope that something came of it was not how I wanted to end the day. The main question is, is it worth it? Would a right plonker like him learn from it? I really doubt it.
I just hope that karma gets to him before he gets to others.
Anyway here is Mr and Miss Plonker in their car, Y509RLK.