I rode Beach Road with friends today from Port Melbourne to Carrum return 70 kms. STRAVA result here Before setting out even had some twitter interaction of encouragement. As I have not be riding as much for the last few weeks this usually would be the distance for a Saturday morning, but being a bit out of condition the return ride with a head wind and a drippy nose was not quite as fun as usual. However the most memorable incident was whilst at a stop light at the end of the service road in Carrum before crossing to return back to Mordialloc and Port Melbourne via the Nepean Highway. Picture below.
I was doing the right thing waiting for the red light to change but my friend crossed the red light was having difficulty getting his cleat back into his peddle. So I was doing the right thing, my friend was in the wrong over the stop line. It is a dead end street as you cross over right over railway lines to join the Nepean Highway. Anyway a driver next to me took it on themselves to wind down her window and politely scold me/my friend for crossing the line and made mention about the media announcement about the VicRoads proposed changes to cycling laws and the newspaper and media backlash about it all as mentioned on the blog the other day implying those changes will make no difference with behaviour like that etc. etc.
I was a bit stunned and not sure how to respond. I didn’t want to exacerbate the situation more so just stayed silent. Was I meant to apologize on my friend’s behalf? Was this driver just having a bad day? I guess this is minor compared to some road rage incidents you hear about. It is interesting being in a minority and coping a level of abuse, prejudice, and bias. Wonder how the driver might have relayed the situation to her family and friends.