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The Cycle of Life… 24, July 2007

Posted by babychaos in General Wittering, Life and living, Light Fluff, Play, whinging, winging.
Tags: , ,

I went out on my fabulous bike the other day. I got it totally wrong and ended up coming home into the wind, which was grim as there was rather a lot of it.

When I got back onto the road and was coming into town I was quite tired but still putting up what I thought was a good speed considering it was blowing the kind of gusts that, were they a bit more constant, you could lean into and nod off.

As I came past a side road a little old man and a large lady who looked to be in her late fifties turned out behind me on cast iron, sit up and beg bikes from… well about 1903 I guess. You know the kind of bike I mean, they are always black because they come from the days when all bikes were black and a red line around the mudguards was considered adventerous – and possibly a bit gaudy. The wheels went tick-a-tick-a-tick as they rode along.

As I sweated and gasped and just about managed walking pace both of them cruised past me in top gear – of the Sturmy Archer three with which their ancient bikes were equipped. Pedalling slowly but surely a sod of a lot faster than me, without so much as a puff they cruised by, their cheeks reddened for an instant as they caught the glow from my face which, in my efforts to stay ahead of them rather than bear the humiliation of being overtaken by them, had gone purple.

We turned away from the wind and I was finally able to match their speed but even so, giving it all the welly I had left I couldn’t reel them in… until we all reached a nice steep hill to go down. Finally I was able to get up to a higher speed then theirs but as we reached the bottom the road flattened out and turned back into the gale again… I could feel each gust blowing me backwards.

Never mind we were nearly at my house! If I could just keep going and yes! There was a side road so I was able to turn off early before I passed out from the effort of staying ahead of them!

I arrived home distinctly short of breath and at the same time, rather dismayed that I should derive any sense of achievement from out dragging a septuagenarian and a stout middle aged lady. Especially when I had done so with such enormous difficulty despite having kit which, knobbly tyres aside, was still several orders of magnitude better than theirs and worse, chastened that it had been such a gargantuan effort to do so.

While searching for my keys to get into the house I noticed something was making a noise like an asthmatic sea lion and after a few minutes I realised it was me.

Ho hum.

What have I learned from this?

Thing 1. Check the wind direction before you set out and make sure you come home with it behind you.
Thing 2. There’s a saying about ski-ing which is along the lines that the more expensive and gaudy the kit a person wears the less likely it is they will be able to ski well. Clearly it’s the same with bikes. My bike being a case in point.
Thing 3. I will probably always be able to go faster on my roller blades than I can on my bike.
Thing 4. Everyone else will too..!
Thing 5. If I’m going to do this often I will have to swallow my pride.
Thing 6. Or make sure I never cycle where other people will be able to witness my ineptitude!
Thing 7. Or remember the important lesson that not everyone is going to be good at the things they enjoy…

Motivational poster… sort of



1. JoeDrinker - 25, July 2007

Terrific story!

It reminds me of the time a buddy of mine and I decided that we should try to hike the highest peak in the state before he moved away. In Arizona, there isn’t much to choose from, but Humphrey’s Peak is a cool 12,600 feet above sea level, not too shabby for a couple of city slickers who spend their lives at an altitude of 1,000 feet.

On our way up, well past the point when we thought we should have died, party after party kept passing us, each asking if we were okay or needed water or food. The final straw was when what appeared to be a little old man with two walking sticks passed us on his up, despite our best effort to keep in front of him. When he passed us again on his way down, we asked him how he did it. His response: he hiked this mountain several times a week for the last 25 years.

Maybe the folks who passed you were just used to pedaling into the wind for their entire lives.

2. Mrs. Nicklebee - 25, July 2007

I’ll bet that’s it, JD!

BC, you have such a way with words!! I’m sorry those old folks felt inclined to show you up in the midst of gale force winds. Maybe you should eat a lot of beans before your next ride. You might be surprised how far they’ll drop back. 😉

3. babychaos - 25, July 2007

I think both your comments are bang on the money, the old gimmers are natives of the windy fens while I, though very quick up a Down, if you see what I mean, am not so good into a whopping great gale, gales are something that happened on top of the Downs or on the windward side and I lived in the lee of one, so to speak… as for the beans well, I’m sure a bit of extra thrust would be just peachy! 😉



4. Bill Howdle - 26, July 2007

BC loved your story you have such a talent with words. I could so relate to your experience, I think Mrs. N. might have the answer. lol

5. babychaos - 26, July 2007

Cheers Bill and with regards to Mrs N’s suggestion… you and me both 😉 Beans for tea methinks!

Pipple toot!


6. Rachel - 31, July 2007

I like the “poster” below the words. It is a lesson I eventually learned, and why, at age 40, I finally began to learn how to dance 🙂

7. babychaos - 2, August 2007

Rachel, spot on and good for you!



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