Hi guys. It was school half term in the UK last week, and that could explain why there were a few slackers out there not reading my blog! I am not saying I am watching you, but I assume this week all will return to normal! Now, that has set the tone for this post, which I am afraid is quite merciless in places!
Last Saturday after the gym, we went for a nice cup of coffee in the lounge when there appeared a really quite nasty lady. Jean and I were sitting down with our daughter in law, Margot and Poppy and Dora, the Shih-tzus.
A couple walked in, and to say the lady was a snob was an understatement! You know the sort; looks at you as if you are a piece of dog poo on her shoe! Margot named her Pamela, and her husband, Mark. Pam was muttering under her breath, making comments, barging in front of people etc all with looks that could poke your eye out! Finally she chose a table near the pavilion doors overlooking the 18th green.
Of course, we just had to listen to her conversation, one does, doesn’t one? This included a classic line when Pammy was speaking to a waitress; “I would like some toast, but not done in a toaster, as it tastes like burnt bread”. Err that’s what toast is Pamela!
All I will say about her behaviour is that it scared Margot, and she is South African! Nothing scares Margot and her homelanders, they are a tough bunch, but Pammy shocked her….
We all felt sorry for Mark. Unbelievably, I think I found her on FaceBook, and she is called Pam….
Sadly, we couldn’t stay all day to be entertained, so we got ready to leave. The stage was set for my move, which we all know is slow and precise. I simply focus on the not falling. I was really concerned about tumbling into Pammy whammy.
To set the scene, in the time that we had sat down, the weather outside had changed from calm to wet and windy. I got up, approached the door, quite close to Pam. Now, opening springy doors is an art with my dodgy balance. I have to carefully test the tension, and then pull, rebalance etc.
As I opened the door, a huge gust of wind and rain swept in, and blew Pam’s newspaper all over her! Using my best balancing skills I continued the steady calm opening of the door, and bingo, I was standing. It was not deliberate, and actually I didn’t really notice as I was achieving the near impossible, a swift gainly walk out of the building. Jean and Margot saw the destruction, and could not contain their laughter. Margot, you are a bad influence!
Apologies to all Pams and Marks, as I know there are a lot of nice ones out there. However, if you are a Mark in a relationship with a Pamela, you might wish to reconsider.
Anyway, laughing all the way to the car park, the weekend continued.
I picked my trike up on Sunday. Here I am posing with ma bitches.
I have carried out a few rides, and it is going well. There are some real nutters on the road, and sadly the most dangerous ones are often cyclists! You know the types, “I can go as fast as I like, whisper quiet and I own the road”. Isn’t it strange that often when you watch those “road rage videos” recorded by a cyclist, that actually the cyclist was not cycling defensively, and/or was really asking for it. Didn’t I mention one of the side effects of MND/ALS is an amazing ability to talk straight and not be politically correct! Anyway, that’s my opinion, and I am sticking to it. Nutters everywhere! The trike is a different experience from a normal bike, but the same rules apply, be road strong but defensive.
It can be quite terrifying, but I have mirrors and I will be out as much as possible. I can get on the trike in my shed, and not get off until my return! I can also turn it round in tight spaces, rather like Mike Myers does in a golf cart in Austin Powers.
On a technical point, how does a recumbent trike compare to a normal bike, and in particular how does it help/hinder me? Firstly, of course, I can actually ride it. Secondly it is a lot faster downhill. However, uphill it is a different beast, but you can extremely low gear it, and creeping at 2 mph is actually not bad. On the flat, I would say it is slower than a normal bike due to the extra weight and resistance. I am taking it slow to get started, planning reasonable return trips.
It’s like being a child again, learning, gaining confidence.
Oh, and thanks to Sue, our Village blonde bombshell, who took me for a ride on Thursday. Sue led, and I willingly followed close behind! I think we were quite a sight!
Arhh, I have just thought of another old Lee bike story. Many years ago I was working in Brussels at an education and conference centre in the Belgium woodland. It was a nice place, and one day a colleague and I found out that we could borrow mountain bikes during lunch time and enjoy the trails in the woods.
“Top banana” we thought. Off we went skipping our lunch. We whizzed through the woods, doing all the silly things you do on such bikes, and then half way through we exited the woods into the grounds of a marvellous Chateau. We were exhilarated. In the distance, near to the Chateau, we could see a dog owner with two of these enjoying the land.
A mild-mannered Doberman!
I didn’t think anything of it, and we carried on and turned back into woods to return to the centre. I went ahead, and unbeknown to me, the dogs had left their owner and were running towards us. My colleague saw the developing news story and shouted as they were coming from my blind side. I turned my head only in time to see them hurtling mid air leaping at me. I was launched into a ditch, the bike following. The dogs just ran off. The bike was mangled, and I had some bruising. I pushed the bike back through the woods and returned it to security where they stored the bikes.
I apologised for the mess, and explained, where upon I was informed that there had been many problems with the Chateau Owner’s dogs recently attacking people!! They would, however, report it. Thanks for the advance warning! Anyway refreshed, oozing blood, I returned to the conference.
This was in the days pre selfies and mobile phones. No doubt if this were to happen today, I would be plastered all over social media.
Before you say anything, this and the milk float were the only two memorable cycle incidents in my life. I have no more, I promise. Well at least for the time being.
Have a great weekend all.