Thursday 17 January 2008

Highway to the danger zone...

Fun weather this morning.

I travelled mostly at a 45o angle, such was the ferocity of the wind. Trying to maintain forward momentum when mother nature had other, far more vehement, ideas was tricky but with concentration, luck and a small element of skill I succeeded - even when she tried to blow me under the articulated truck in the next lane.

Torrential rain and spray from other traffic reduced visibility to a minimum. (Note to self: fashion a pulley based system to wipe visor clean). No problem - I flipped the visor up, bent my head a little and sacrificed facial warmth for visibility and safety. Jaw chattering and rain stinging my face like a million tiny arrows, I managed to stay rubber side down.

People who normally cycle or use public transport to negotiate the morning rush hour(s) bowed to a natural desire for comfort and took their cars and SUVs to work. Consequentially, the increased traffic volumes meant longer journey times, frustrated drivers and more unpredictable behaviour as everybody rushed to reach their respective point B's. I slowed down, tried to be more vigilant, to expect the unexpected and thankfully, avoided disaster.

I carefully navigated the small roundabout outside the office, lined the bike up with the kerb, gently bumping the front wheel up to drive the 5ft across the grass verge to the trusty lamppost, against which its secured while I earn money to keep it in petrol.

It was then that the back wheel spun wildly on the soggy wet grass, shot sideways and sent the bike plummeting towards the ground. I quickly put a foot down to halt the fall and, slipping and sliding on the grass (in what I'm sure must have been reminiscent of a scene from a Charlie Chaplin movie) , managed to restore everything to its proper upright position.

Typical - you drive 10km in hellish conditions, negotiating numerous hazards and its the last 10 feet that gets you. Still.... it left a swerving skid mark I am immensely proud of. To anybody who did not witness my less than gracious arrival, it will look like I came flying in sideways at 100 miles an hour, screeching to a halt like a modern day Jim Stark. (Yeah right!)

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