This story comes from 6am-ers member Brad “The Mist” Fogg and it’s message is one many cyclists battle with constantly.
Sunday the 22nd of July started as every other Sunday does for me, up early to check the radar then get dressed in my 6am-ers kit, have some breakfast and head off to meet my 6am-ers team mates for a “leisurely” ride through the hills. The winner of this week’s vote was a relatively new ride called “Cirque de Cardinia” which travels out through Ferntree Gully to Pakenham and then back through Emerald and Belgrave.
The ride was turning out to be a pretty standard ride with the usual suspects like Jeff “2Laps” Shaw, Cam “Lumpy” Senese and Michael “21T” Villani smashing it up the climbs while the rest of us tried to hang on for dear life, then Michael “Mad Mike” Shaw and myself leading the charge down the other side! The weather had turned out to be ok and everyone was having a good chat and a laugh while rolling along the flat sections.
It is amazing how things can change, as we were climbing up out of Pakenham Upper I was hanging off the back of the group due to the high pace being set by the climbers of the group (Or mountain goats as I like to call them) when I noticed a silver VT Commodore coming towards the group and fluid spraying out the rear passenger window. At the time I just assumed it was some young blokes using water pistols but as I got up over the rise and saw our guys pulled up by the side of the road I got a bad feeling it was worse than I first thought. 21 Tooth was holding the side of his face and blood was starting to ooze out of a rather nasty gash he had on his chin and the rest of the guys were making sure he was ok. I asked what happened and was informed that the fluid I saw cascading out of the car was in fact coming from a full can of “Jack Daniels” that had just been thrown from the moving car and had hit 21 Tooth directly in the side of the face causing a large and deep cut to his chin. Luckily an ambulance wasn’t needed and everyone was able to ride home together while discussing the events of what had happened. In the end he managed to get away with a few stitches and a swollen face but this could have been much much worse.
I can’t imagine what goes through the head of somebody that thinks it’s funny to endanger the life of somebody else? Every week we (cyclists) have to deal with angry motorists that are held up for a few seconds while they get around our group and from time to time they even take it further with a toot, an extended middle finger or even swerving across the front of our bunch, but this is one of the worst things I’ve seen yet. A comment came from the bunch while we were standing by the side of the road that, “this is when a helmet camera would have come in very handy”. I thought to myself what a shame that guys feel that they have to resort to filming their rides just so they can get justice for these sorts of events. I hope that this isn’t the case but I know I have noticed a marked increase in driver frustration in the 4 years I have been riding seriously, at some stage everyone just needs to learn to get along!