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Disengaging with close passers

Just been the victim of a road rage attack (I'm fine, and, more importantly, so is the bike).

Had a head-on close pass on a narrow country lane at well over 50mph (its a NSL road) which unsurprisingly caused me to yell out (I think it was F*** sake, or possibly something blasphemous).

Cycled on my way only to have the driver turn round, pull alongside, and force me to stop. Following a continued exchange of viewpoints I tried to cycle off, only to be shoved off into the ditch. At that point the driver left whilst I checked the bike over and sorted my bleeding elbow.

Got me thinking - literally all I did to provoke that was to (a) exist and (b) yell out when he'd almost killed me. If I hadn't yelled at him there'd have been no afters, just another one to add the list. I don't run cameras because I can't be doing with all the charging and downloading of yet another device in a life I'm trying to make more device-free.

So I'm sat here wondering what I could have done differently. My partner's now concerned about COVID-19 risk (yelling at each other for 5 minutes isn't going to have helped but hey, adrenaline). Getting it in the ear for engaging but I'm struggling to think how I could have avoided it. I only stopped when he forced me into the verge because I'd rather fall off a stationary bike then be hit from behind on the road. In the middle of nowhere so at that point I couldn't ride off (no way to get away from the wanker with the 2-ton metal box). No way to hop a gate and go cross country because he'd just catch me on foot. All I wanted to do was de-escalate and get away from the situation.

The most annoying thing about all this is that for the previous two hours I'd had a glorious stress-free ride. Zero close passes, lots of give and take - I even had a WVM pull in and flash me through on a narrow lane. But that's the thing, it only takes one. At the moment I feel like it will be a while before I'm back on the road - I've just taken delivery of an MTB and my son prefers riding off-road anyway.

Sorry for the long post, just at a loss to think what I could have done and also worried about the fact it could easily have been the end of me.

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