You are of course right in the context of good riding, which is to hold one's line.
But I guess this question of 'how can I ride safely around unpredictable and aggressive riders?' is all in the theoretical, and doesn't have one answer. Someone clips your front wheel and you think 'I would have liked to get myself out of the way if that douchebag doesn't give people space' or if you create a small bit of space on your right and then get cut up the inside you think 'I should have held my line. What kind of douchebag undertakes?' So I'll walk that back a little and agree: holding one's line is generally the best course of action. But also giving myself a bit of space has saved my front wheel a few times in RP, eg when Billy Big Balls overtakes on the rise to the zoo then fades and drifts in too early. And also as recently as a week ago when I was out in the lanes, I was glad I didn't hold my line then. It's all split second stuff and the best one can do is ride reasonably and hope others behind follow suit.
The irony of my comment today is that I'm actually part of the club that was mentioned earlier, but something very different has happened to me today and I would really appreciate your opinion on what I can do.
Today I rode with a close friend and a new group, we headed north and were passing quite a few people.
One of the riders we passed was an old acquaintance that I no longer speak to. While I was at the back of my new group, this person came up next to me and patted me on the back (hard and sarcastically) saying hello and how are you.
After I climbed the hill I was on and once we reached a roundabout, I told him that I didn't like him and if he could please not touch me or talk to me. His response?
"What are you gonna do if I touch you again?"
I asked him if he was a man or a child and to leave me alone. I tried to join my group again but was later followed by him, he came up next to me and grabbed my pump from my back pocket.
He then threatened me telling me that he wanted to finish this, etc, etc.
We swerved into a side road and he got off his bike, I stopped because I wanted my pump back. He approached me and told me he was keeping my pump. I watched him put it in his back pocket, shouting at him "give me back my f###ing pump!", he was about to get on his bike so I moved to him and tried to grab it from his back pocket. He stumbled back, almost surprised that I wanted my pump back.
Bearing in mind that he was off his bike and I was still on mine, he came at me, pushed me and began punching me. I tried to push his punches away from my face. He got me to the side of the head several times until his friend intervened and stopped it all.
He threatened me again saying "This won't be the last day I'll see you". I circled around him and tried to ring the police but no signal. He jumped off his bike again while I was circling ready to go at me again.
My Sunday morning ride, ruined, because of nothing but some angry person that I once knew but had no direct connection/issues with.
So... a police statement has been made. The person in question had texted me saying sorry, saying that grabbing my pump was a joke and that I overreacted by pushing him? And that he had pushed me in retaliation. So he's already admitted to it.
Thoughts guys? Maybe more back story? I really can't wait to expose this cyclist...
As much as the Popcorn here could be great, best to let the Police sort* it without too much comment in a public forum.
P.s. Hope you got your pump back?
'* though it sounds from circumstances like they won't have much to sort? Hope you can smooth things between you enough to agree to go your separate ways.
Yeah your right. I just feel like a sitting duck and just want some justice.
I'll just wait to hear what they say, thank you.
And yes, got the pump back, after having to grab it off the man.
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