20 January, 2012

Gone but never forgotten

They say that decisive moments in your life play out in slow motion. Today I had one of those moments.

I was out on my bike (predictable) an hour from home and three hours into my ride when I reached for the final flapjack (homemade I must add; my first rather poor effort). After rummaging around for a bit to find it amid the spare bottles and wrappers, I dug it out and stuck it in my gob. I was going up a climb so decided that I best get out the saddle in order to make it to the top as my speed was dropping to a pathetic amble by this point. As I stood up on the pedals I hit a few bumps in the road and to my horror as I did so the flapjack slowly tumbled, in a flurry of oat-y, sugary deliciousness, to the ground.

I must re-iterate the facts now: this was my last piece of food in the whole wide world at this point in time. For a non-cyclist this might be hard to fully understand but when you’re out training alone with no money (really stupid move by the way but something I always do) and you run out of food it becomes a matter of survival. Even seasoned riders never really know when their legs might crack and say; “No thank you, I’ve done all I want to. You can make your own way from here”. That is the biggest fear of every rider.

You can better imagine my torrent of emotions now. Within two seconds of dropping my snack, I was slowing to a stop, wistfully imagining doing a U-turn and sweeping up the tasty morsel safe in my arms, then riding off into the sunset. This hope was promptly crushed, metaphorically and physically, by the Vauxhall Astra who had been driving behind me. I rolled to a stop and had a little moment to myself; I’m not ashamed to say shedding a tear, not just for the flapjack but for myself too. How was I going to make it home?

Anyway I regained control of myself, erected a tasteful cross on the side of the road in loving memory and carried on my way. This account is proof that thankfully I did in fact make it home alive.

More or less what my memorial looked like.

 Another teary tantrum occurred at the tender age of fifteen when I was desperate to get out on my bike before it got dark but I kept pinching the inner tube and getting blowouts. Three inner tubes later and I was a blubbering mess. I’m slightly less of an emotional wreck now, or at least I get most of it out on the bike, but good God don’t make me watch Schindler’s List.

Schindler's List - too emotional.

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