I was riding down West Vale on my way home on my bike. Probably from the centre of my home town to where I lived, a couple of miles away. Nothing special. Just riding home late one night when I was in my early twenties or possibly late teens.
I rode past a group of young guys on the corner of a street. I glanced at them. They looked at me.
I somehow knew instantly that this visual interchange meant something. They meant me harm.
I pushed the pedals hard and got out of there. A moment later I heard the motorbike engines start, and I upped my pace still further. Instead of riding home, I went a different way, and rode into a cul-de-cac, and hid between two houses. I was working as a postman in that area at the time, and I knew the place like the back of my hand.
The bikes went the way I should have gone, then doubled back, and did the next most straightforward way. Then one of them came down the cul de sac, turned around and went back out again. The rider didn't see me, pressed up against a dark wall, and after the sound of the bikes receded, I rode home via a couple of back alleys.
I'd done nothing to antagonise them, yet if they'd found me, they'd have beaten the shit out of me, for no reason, although I'm sure they'd have found some justification if pressed to do so.
It wasn't the first time or the last, so please forgive me for any misanthropy.
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