An upsetting incident occurred last Sunday while we were walking the dogs. The weather was lovely and there were a number of people out in the gardens, including a grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter, as well as several “mature” village residents sitting out and enjoying the sun.
We came to big field at the end of our route and turned to head for home. Peaches, as always, was off her leash and bouncing around on the path and exploring the field for creatures, while Shmoo was on his leash. Suddenly, we heard the sound of motorbikes coming from the sports stadium along the path.
A first motorbike appeared, saw us, slowed down, passed us and sped back up. It was fine. But a second motorbike was following him and this one didn’t bother to slow down at all. JM held up his hand to try to slow him, but the guy kept coming. I called Peaches to get her out of the path, but there wasn’t a lot of time. The second motorbike got so close to JM (who still had his hand outstretched) that JM actually touched him. This enraged the biker, who stopped, gave JM the finger, then drove away even faster than before. We were very concerned because the grouping of grandmother, daughter and granddaughter were up ahead on the path and there would have been no way the biker could see them and stop in time if they were in his way.
We were all shaken and Peaches was actually so terrified that we had to put her back on her leash so she wouldn’t try to run home on her own (it’s the place she feels the safest).
We were still debating what to do, if anything, when another incident shook us.
On Wednesday, friends were preparing to head back to their jobs in Mordor on Thursday. They decided to take advantage of the last good weather of the week to take an afternoon bike ride; the plan was to stop in to visit Mom at around 7 pm when they got back. JM was on the phone and we didn’t realize right away that there had been a call. We found a message saying they wouldn’t be back because one of them was in the hospital!
They had been biking home when a motorcycle (yet again) had passed them on the road. The guy was going fast and came so close to them that he nearly knocked them down. One of our friends yelled something (probably angrily) and they continued on their way.
About 10 minutes later, the motorcyclist returned from behind them and hit our friend in the back with a massive wooden stick! It knocked him down, of course, and he was lying in the road almost passing out from the shock and pain. Luckily, two good Samaritans stopped and called the emergency services and the police.
The Gendarmes were extremely efficient and actually found someone who might have been the perpetrator, but since neither of them was able to identify him with 100% accuracy, I’m not sure what will happen.
They were lucky that nothing was broken, there wasn’t any internal bleeding or head injury, but it could have been much, much worse.
Other bikers have told us they thought that the cars passing them were being far more daring and dangerous than they had been at other times. None of us know if this is a pattern of general behavior change or if it’s just people feeling frustrated with the end of summer, fear of the future or just plain rudeness. At any rate, it is disturbing.
I used to tell JM to not gesture at cars that had cut us off on the freeway in L.A. because we never knew if they were armed. I would hate to see the fear of life in a city coming here to our rural paradise. We would all be the poorer for that…
Ciao for now,