Thursday, October 06, 2011

Cyclist's Tricep 1, Nob End Motorist 0

I’ve often been cautioned against cycling in Nairobi, usually taking the form of the question “Are you a complete mentalist?” when I say I use my bike to get around. Despite these concerns, I’ve never found it to be as dangerous as people say and never had a collision – until today.

I was merrily cycling along a quiet back road in Kilimani when a nutbag in a 4x4 zipped past and slapped his wing mirror into my tricep. I heard the sound of his wing mirror smash as I veered into the gutter and fell off.

He clearly knew he had hit me, and accelerated off. Once I’d checked my arm wasn’t broken (it’s fine), I vowed revenge in a manly fashion to a startled gaggle of young white girls nearby and chased him with the intention of remonstrating vigorously (i.e. punching him in the coupon). Over the brow of the hill, I saw his car at the next junction, where it had collided with another vehicle. In his attempt to flee, he had gone onto the wrong side of the road then tried to force his way back in when confronted by an oncoming vehicle.

In true Kenyan fashion, a mob of outraged bystanders had formed, and were giving the guy pelters for hitting me then the other car. He brazenly tried to say he hadn’t seen me, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and then offered to pay for the damage. Considering the damage to my arm was zero, and the damage to his car was a broken wing mirror and a dented front right fender, I felt justice had been done, and cycled off leaving him to the growing crowd of wananchi wanting to have their say.

The offence wasn’t serious enough for a lynching, so I think he is probably ok. He’ll know never to mess with a Scotsman’s tricep again, though.

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