So despite my bad shoulder which makes UPDs incredibly painful, I decided to take the Muni into the forest for an hour or two.
So here’s me riding along a winding and undulating track, mainly dry mud, but with occasional mudbaths. It’s wide enough for one cycle, with occasional passing places.
I hear clicks and squeeks behind me. The clicks are badly adjusted gears; the squeeks are a dry chain.
Two bicycles approaching. No word of warning, no polite request to let them pass. I know they’re there only because I’m listening for them.
I’ve been riding for about 28 minutes cross country without a UPD and, me being me, I’d prefer not to dismount. So I’m scanning the trail ahead for a passing place.
I see it: the path diverges and then rejoins. The right hand branch is smoother, easier. The left hand branch is easily rideable, just slightly bumpy, and I’m not sure I could idle on it. With two bikes to get past me, and only 3 - 4 metres of opportunity, idling will be necessary.
I shout, “Pass on the left” and wave them through (painfully, with my bad arm) and I move onto the smooth bit, slow down and make to idle.
And a front wheel appears parallel to mine, and almost touching. I hear noises consistent with a bicycle rider not fully undertanding how to operate his brakes. I dismount. He puts his foot down and stops.
“I said, ‘Come through on the left!’” I say, with some asperity.
“I couldn’t get up there,” he explains.
I consider a wide range of options and reply, “Perhaps you have too many wheels.”
No apology, no comment. Not even a retort. He rides past, followed by his companion. Both are on full suspension multi-geared mountainbikes, both fully kitted out, with full face helmets - they look ready for the Paris-Dakar.
I could have ridden my single speed road bike or even my 700cx23mm unicycle along the four metres of path that he couldn’t get up.
On reflection, I expnad on my earlier comment. I add, “Ar*ehole.”
They ride on.