Just a couple of days ago I experienced something I never expected to see. I was preparing to take the dog for a walk when I heard my neighbour’s voice asking if I wanted company and looked up to see Tony’s head poking over his garden gate.
“Yeah, okay,” I said.
“Give me a minute and I’ll be right with you,” said my keen sounding friend. Soon he appeared pushing what looked like a bike and wearing a triumphant smile. It’s true that Tony had arrived home from work one evening with an old bike frame and a few others bits and pieces he had found at work but I really never expected to see the thing in some semblance of working order.
My friend tucked one trouser leg inside his sock, wobbled alarmingly as he negotiated the crossbar and mounted his new prized possession.
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It’s fair to say (and Tony would agree with me) that he hasn’t really mastered the art of cycling. Tony is closer to 50 than he is to 40 and it must have been a long time since he attempted to ride a bike, but I admired his ambition.
When we reached the bottom of the hill we all stopped for a rest and it was then that it occurred to him that it was all uphill on the way home.
This caused some consternation and the need to readjust the bike saddle which had apparently been turning in different directions during the rider’s gyrations. We also checked the chain, which had no guard and rather a lot of oil meaning that Tony would now know which sock to put on either foot because one was oily blue and the other simply blue.
We made it home finally and, after a cup of tea, Tony offered to join me and the dog the following morning. He failed to appear at the agreed time but did admit to me later that it “hurt when I pedalled”. I really hope that Ms Pendleton doesn’t find the need to for such an excuse later in the summer but I do understand what Tony meant.