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One Dad and His Bike

Part 1

As you know, the roads and pavements are being populated by brightly coloured, lycra wearing tosspots who may as well be wearing blinkers—I mean come on, they have death wishes. Undertaking, squeezing through gaps, and running red lights. Yes, I'm on about cyclists. I hate the majority of them, which is unusual because I am one. Before you say anything, no, I don’t wear lycra, yes, I stop at red lights, and yes, I have a bright red face when riding up a hill.

I love my bike, but it doesn’t like me. It’s on a one machine mission to scramble my spuds and wreck my bum. It’s my main form of exercise and I used it to train for the half marathon indie two years ago. I was recovering from a torn ankle ligament and it was a good way to keep fit with minimal impact. I love the feel of the wind in my rapidly disappearing hair, the excitement of a downhill track, and the child in me loves a good puddle. I commute ten miles to work and back a day. Along the trans pennine trail between Sheffield and Barnsley. It’s beautiful, it’s peaceful, and it’s rewarding. Right up until a swallow-sized kamikaze dragon fly hits you in the cheek nearly forcing you into the Elsecar canal.

I’ve recently found that while on the bike, everyone is friendly. Whether it be the odd “hey" or “hi" up to trying to have a full conversation. The idea that cyclists are universally hated seems to be false. Only the odd car driver seems to hate us. Even the types like me who follow the rules, wait, don’t undertake and don’t run red lights.

I’ll openly admit to riding on the paths from time to time. This is down to an accident caused by a moron in an Audi.

I was going down a road at 20-25mph, she was coming up the opposite way. She tried, TRIED to turn right, across my lane to get on a side road. She didn’t make it and I slammed into the side of her, catapulting me over the car. Somehow I was OK and actually got up and chased her down because, believe it or not, she drove away.

I didn’t have a helmet or any protection, and after a little going over by the paramedics and a statement to the police, I walked myself and my written off bike back home to a pregnant and extremely upset girlfriend. To this day two years later, nothing has happened even though me and other witnesses passed on a description of the car, the driver, and a full registration. Moral of the story: don’t crash into an Audi.

I’m currently on my fourth bike in four years, as you know one was written off. I’ve also had two stolen. Shit happens. My newest bike, though not expensive, has taken some right hammer and is still going strong. I’ve gone down some rough tracks, jumped big ramps, and I’ve gotten it so muddy it’s been unrecognisable.

It squeaks, it rattles, but it goes...well, until yesterday when I hopped on it and discovered I had a flat tyre. I’m sure the neighbours appreciated the list of explicit terms that came from my mouth at 7 AM.

This has been a basic introduction into my biking life. Thank you for reading. Each week something strange, funny, or scary happens, and I'll do my best to put it into words. I hope you like what I’ve written and I'll try and write as often as I can, whether it be about my bike, being a father, being a bloke, or just alive.