Driving Nimetön back home tonight. We were going through Campbelltown when I noticed a young man in a commodore. I estimate he was doing about 40kmh-1 in a carpark, at an acute angle to the road, about to intersect with the road at the time that the car just in front of me was about to pass the car park exit. The commodore slamed on his brakes and waited for us both to pass before dragging out of the carpark and pulling up behind the bloke next to me.
We drove along for a bit and the idiot decides to pull behind me seeing as tailgating the other bloke isn’t getting him where he’s going any faster. As he changes lanes to sit on my bumper I also slow down. We drive along for about a kilometre when we come to the Glynde intersection. The bloke next to me stays in the right turning lane, I keep in the middle lane (can diverge either left or right) and the young son of a gun sitting on my bumper, takes the left lane and then does a sweeping right hand turn, cutting in front of me through the middle of the intersection.
We pull out to overtake a bus at which point he slows right down. Fair enough, I can see his point, so I slow down. I change lanes, just before I pass he jumps in front and slows down again. Fair call. After deciding to ignore and avoid him for a while he eventually takes off down portrush rd, probably breaking 100kmh-1 in the process.
I kept an eye on him. He did a u-turn and came back towards us. At a break in the traffic island he sat and waited. As I approached I slowed down, almost to a stop (there were no cars behind me). I think he wanted to jump in behind me. In response to my stopage, he cancelled his right hand turn towards me and decided to cut off the traffic approaching him from the rear. He did this, also at a high speed in a reckless manner. I think he was hoping to do another u-turn so he could succeed in getting behind me.
I decided i’d had enough of these shenanigans, and I was feeling really scared, so I opted for out. I took the next turn on the left, hit the accelerator hard, and then found another off shoot of the side street to hide down. I parked and decided it was time to change the CD and fiddle about for a little.
In hindsight, I guess I was taking the law into my own hands. I drove like a self righteous twit, blocking that other idiot from speeding off down the road. I should have simply let him overtake us, recorded his number plate and let the cops take a note of the dip stick. I was scared because I felt like I’d increased the danger of the situation by playing with this fool.
When we arrived in Stirling I was being careful not to speed, I was being very conscious of my speed. Between Stirling and Aldgate I felt that it was too dangerous to keep and eye on the spedo because the road is very windy and it was dark and I’m unfamiliar with the area. So I unconsciously ditched the spedo, instead choosing to just drive at a speed that I felt was safe (which I assumed would be within the speed limit). Nimetön started complaining with words to the effect of “oh god matty” which cued me to look at the spedo. I’m not sure exactly, it was probably in excess of 70kmh-1 as I was slowing down.
I was pretty freaked out. Speeding isn’t cool, it’s just dangerous. But I didn’t feel like I was doing anything particularly dangerous. I felt like I still had metres to the road. It worried me that my idea of safety was so warped. I blame cycling. I hardly drive at all, I probably drove more than any of my friends during the period I worked at holden but now days I’ll be lucky to touch a car on a weekly basis, let alone drive one, let alone in the hills in the dark. Cycling also gives you a different perspective. Bikes are far more responsive, you know the exact limits because you can feel exactly when the wheels starting to slip and slide. And when you come off you don’t forget because it hurts a hell of a lot every time or at least scares you in a more permanently.
I should have known I needed to be more careful. Thanks nimetön for being there and waking me up to the fact that I was driving like there was no tomorrow. If you hadn’t been there to give such reminders it could have very possibly turned out really ugly.