I've never been in a bumper bashing (well, not outside my parent's driveway anyway), but today I had my first ve-hic-ular accident. I hit another bike. I hit it good.
He was coming from the opposite direction, turning left. I was going straight, with the intention of turning left after him. He turned in front of me and stopped at the traffic light. Unfortunately, whether he knew it or not, his back wheel was still in the bike path - I didn't have a choice, there was no time for me to stop or swerve - I hit his backwheel so hard that spokes dislodged and the frame bent.
I felt terrible and said so - but he was having none of it. It was my fault, I was stupid, I was blind, I hadn't even tried to stop. In fact, as far as he was concerned I had aimed. Again I apologised, and then pointed out that he had actually cut in front of me, was on my side of the road and hadn't left anywhere for me to go. This, of course, unleashed another tirade of abuse.
Sitting in the middle of intersecting bike paths, at peak hour, meant that our accident and my verbal bashing was becoming an obstructing spectacle. So I suggested we move to the pavement. He carried on cursing me and inspecting his bike. I started to wheel my bike around to the pavement. He decided I was making a runner for it, so he grabbed my arm and handlebars to pull me back.
"You're not going anywhere!" he shouted.
"I'm moving out of the way, you fucking arsehole!" I raised my voice in response. Classy.
With such a crowd of spectators and after his verbal - and bordering on physical - abuse, I was then surrounded by three very protective men who had witnessed at least the latter part of the incident. One giant of a gentleman made it very clear that he would be staying by my side until I said otherwise. I appreciated that and I hope that the aggressor felt like a tit. He certainly looked it.
The aggressor tried to tell my bodyguard in Dutch what a klote idioot I was, because I hadn't even looked before ploughing into him. I responded in Dutch, and defended myself, again, in English. My bodyguard responded in English and suggested that we keep the correspondence to English. I appreciated that too.
I do feel bad for the guy's bike. Not for him. It was mortifying to get shouted at so publicly. I know it fucked up his evening, but it sure as hell fucked up mine too.