Sunday, 16 June 2013

On the bike

Yes, on the bike. Mostly because I cannot afford petrol. Anyway, cycling with your children is supposed to be a positive experience, isn't it?

We were aiming for the local music festival, but never made it on account of getting lost. (Memo to self: always carry a map, even if it is of the Andes.)

But look on the bright side! I had an opportunity to muse on cycling vs driving. I can add my thoughts to the western world's weighty consideration on these matters.

1. Flies go up my nose.
When I am cycling, obviously, not when I am sitting in the car. For that to happen I would have to push them up my nose myself, and I don't remember having a habit for that. When I am cycling, flies also go in my mouth, and get trapped in my hair. This may be a summer lane effect. I am not sure it has a resolution. I can only seek to minimise the undesirable impact of being a death hole for flies by shutting up talking to Tiger while cycling.

2. My bottom hurts.
Being discreet about this, I will only say that I observe no matter how foamed-up and comfy my saddle promises to be, it still doesn't work over potholes and road bumps.

3. I feel vulnerable.
Yes, thrillingly vulnerable, not in a no-knickers way, but in the way of meteorology. I mean, look at this cloud. It's coming my way.

4.  I observe interesting things and not the back of a Volvo.
This pisses Tiger off no end. I am constantly off the bike wanting to take photographs or saying ohh look at this! while pointing to a daisy or a pigeon or a stream or a tree. It turns a simple trip into a two-hour journey. I can hear mutterings that on the next cycle ride I might be left at home.

5. I can say hello and thank you to delightful gentlemen as they make way for me on my bike.
This is an absolute bonus and I recommend cycling if only for this. It is unlikely to help me form any more lasting relationships however as you whizz past them quite quickly.

6. Dogs have a new and special terror.
Is that terrier bicycle happy? We are not going to find out until we try and get past it.

7. All roads are terrifying.

8. I become more moral. When we cross the road bridge I am practically levitating with my own sanctity.

The super-moral side is saying Look at me! I am on a bicycle! While you car drivers are eating up the planet and destroying our climate with your bad, bad ways. (The other side of the brain is whispering Lucky bastards. I bet you have a secret stash of biscuits stashed in your glove compartment.)

9. I become acutely aware of my own shortcomings.
Like, there's no one to help me if this goes bellyup. Can I call out the RAC or AA? If the gears break down or I have a puncture, I'm facing a very long walk home with a very cross companion.

10. I become hopelessly lost.
Two minutes off my familiar road route and I haven't a clue where I'm going! Did we pass this litter bin already? I shall take a picture of it, so I can navigate my own way home when Tiger leaves me behind because I am annoyingly off the bike again, complaining about the foam saddle, and covered in flies.

Actually, getting hopelessly lost is exactly my same experience as in the car. I may have to strap the non-working satnav to the handle bars, put on a cheery face, and just say, let's go that way.

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