14 October 2008

A somber occasion


Another case of harassment in the city centre. This one a little bit more serious, though I escaped with no more than wounded pride. I was turning right into Shudehill when a teenager in one of those silly little bikes jumped the pedestrian lights just before the bus station, nearly made me fall and shouted some passing obscenity, to which I simply replied 'What?'.

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That was it. For one of these little thugs spoiling for a fight, that was enough pretext to chase me to the next set of traffic lights. I saw him coming but my reaction was not to run away. The pillock got to me. I got down from the bike and placed it between me and him. I wanted to avoid a fight - all the self-defense books will tell you that is the best course of action, especially with a teenager as (a) they may be carrying a knife and (b) even if you prevail, their under-age status will make things difficult for you. So, I went by the book - open hands in front, conciliatory language, stand your ground. The whole thing was over in the time it took for the lights to change to green - the teenager left muttering further abuse, and I was left, shaken - but free to continue my journey.

On the plus side, the incident put a spring in my step, so to speak - I did good time, uphill to my home. On the other hand, I am annoyed, angry, pissed off. Part of me knows I did the right thing - but the other half feels it was unfair, that a little shit got away with it, will be bragging to his lumpen, redneck friends about how he managed to 'scare' a grown man.

Either way, I will be looking over my shoulder for a while. Perhaps I should vary my route out of the city centre - or perhaps I should say 'bollocks' to it and stick to my guns? For to give in to fear is to lose twice.

1 comment:

workbike said...

A tough decision. I've had a similar run-in recently, although that was with an Audi driver threatening to sue, it was the same tactic. THing is, I've found it's unlikely you'll see them twice in the same place- that's why they feel safe enough to be abusive.