I cycle to work most days. I go along along a cycle path but I think it’s probably safer on the roads with the women driving cars and drunken van driving Scottish people! And I’m not even joking! The worst thing about the cycle path is there are always a bunch of other cracker-jacks wanting to have a bit of a race. It’s crazy really, I mean, join a cycling club if you want to race, already!
I’ve been banned from two local cycling clubs.
There are two local cycling clubs.
Don’t even care as running is now my thing. Still, I do like to get out on the bike a bit but I could just do without the god-damn fucking competitiveness. I’m pretty fast on a bike. I was the Island road race champion in my youth. Deal with it, you know? I pass you, I’m not casting aspersions on your sexuality. I’m just getting somewhere faster that you are because of my superior Vo2 max. But you pass somebody and you know what’s going to happen, you can hear the click of their gears as they change down and you know that right now it’s fucking on! A gauntlet has been thrown down.
I should just let them pass but I can’t. So I’m as guilty as anybody!
Today I was riding along and thinking about that open letter to Charlie Brooker that I wrote yesterday. I wondered if he’d seen it and I felt somebody was sitting on my wheel (that’s a cycle racing term, it means somebody was drafting) Drafting is a cycle racing term. It means somebody was sitting as close as they could to my back wheel, to shelter from the wind, meaning they were expending up to 40% less energy. In other words they were wheel sucking, which is a cycle racing term which means they were sitting on my wheel (I’ve explained what that means.)
Anyway, I can practically feel this person’s breath on my neck and so I bang it up a couple of gears (I have 27) and I start really hammering. I tried to make it look like I wasn’t suffering by not rocking like a pendulum. I was suffering though so I flicked out my elbow to encourage the wheel sucker to come past and take his turn at the front, to make it a fair race, but of course he wouldn’t. I shook me head to broadcast my disgust at this unsporting behaviour. Fucking glass cranker.
“Come on you twat!” I shout but he still just sits behind. What’s he doing? Waiting for the sprint? What sprint. We’re just going to work, buddy! So I start zig-zagging, hoping I’ll take out his front wheel and he’ll go down like a sack of shit.
He’s still there.
I start narrowly missing lampposts hoping he’ll brain himself on one.
I start firing snot rockets out of my nose. I was breathing hard and had a lot of snot. (For some reason I am very brave when I am on wheels, be it in a car or on a bike. In my car if somebody is driving too close to me I will reach up and put M&Ms out of the sunroof and watch them ping off the following vehicle. I shouted to some Hell’s Angels that I loved their baking show. I think I am brave on wheels because I know that if the worst comes to the worst I can always go flat out into a wall and kill myself.)
The fucking guy is still there! I can sense him. It’s like he’s never read the unwritten rules of cycling and I’m angry. I am pissed. I start brake testing him, checking his reflexes. I nearly do an endo but he’s still fucking there. I mean – it was dangerous for one thing, that’s what really wound me up, you get these people who aren’t skilful enough to ride in such close proximity to somebody such as I. One mistake from them and we both go down. I don’t give his the satisfaction of even looking back at him. He’s nothing to me. Unimportant. A bug.
I practically sprint to the finish line which is the Co-op and where the cycle path ends. If he wants a sprint finish it had to be to there. I shout a few swears at him as I thought we’d be going our separate ways and I free-wheel to our shop. I can’t really hear him following me but I hear something. My ears are flexing. I get to work and I hear a cough he’s followed me! Oh fuck I think. I get to the doors and I get off as fast as possible to plead for mercy, or, if he’s tiny, rough him up a bit.
It was then I saw the the person was tiny. It was actually my three year old son who was sat in the child seat. “Oh yeah!” I said. I remembered I was supposed to drop him off at the nursery as the wife lost her licence. And he’s covered in fucking snot. Enrique wanders out and asks, “what’s with the kid?” I ignore him and head to the nursery. It’s not until we get there that Jacob starts crying.