Well, there are no other words to portray my feelings of certain events which have happened in the past week or so. Specifically the level of ignorance, and complete lack of understanding of people!
So I have been able to wheel about more because of my new freewheel. Its just amazing. So I was on one of my wheels or pushes as ive been informed the technical term to be. I had been out for about an hour, and was hoping to make it from my home at Exeter Quay to Turf locks, which is about 6 miles each way. I have been building up my time very slowly, to protect my very vulnerable shoulders. On Sunday, I was having quite a good day, and decided to go a bit further. This entailed going up a very steep but short hill, and down the other side. Now, Im not exadurating when I say, that this hill is awful. I used to have to stand up on my bike, when I used to cycle a road bike (what feels like a lifetime ago), so making it up either side is exhausting, and takes every bit if strength I have. But I did it, and mde it down the other side. Then I realised that on the other side of the hill was very uneven pavement, which is fine because of the freewheel, but I diddnt have my spare inner tube with me, so made the decision to turn around. The other side of the hill is quite tricky. In the left, is very uneven and lists dramatically into a bankign, and is very steep. The right side is smoother and not as steep, so the safest route to take is this one. Well, I started my assent, and noticed a middle aged fellow at the top of the hill on his bike, who shuffled across the bit of the hill, which is almost at the top, stopping anyone from going up or down. I was giving it my all, and he just stopped at the hill, and wouldnt budge. I politely asked if I could get to the top please. He sat, looked down at me, and with a very agressive tone said ‘your on the wrong side!’. So basically he deliberately blocked my path on a dangerous hill, to tell me this. I had to hold myself on the hill, which was extremely difficult. If I had let go, or slipped I wouldnt want to know the result! After about 45 seconds or so, and me saying please may I pass, his friend told him to get out of the way. I was completely shocked. Firstly it is a shared path, and surely anyone could see that the other side is too dangerous for me to negotiate! But apparently not!
I dont let much get to me when it comes to these little acts of ignorance, but this one did. What an ignorant arse! Today, a group of teenagers pointed to my stump and shouted ‘uurgh’. It was covered with a sock! Which was clean and tidy! These things I find so shocking. As for the man, well he was id say in his fifties, wearing a shirt and chinos on his commuter bike. Looked fairly tidy and respectable (not that this is a pre requisite for descency) but I was really not prepared for what he did.
Most amputees will testify silly comments and looks from teens. You just learn to ignore it.
Anyway, I hope you are all staying safe, and have not had to suffer this level of ignorance. I chose not to say anything to him, but now I wish I had. I wish id explained why I took the route I took! Maybe it would have helped? Maybe not? Who knows?