Just a quick post to give you some detail on the murkier side of cycling.
For some reason – only best known to the Gods, this week two really rather gross things happened to me. The first was nothing new, I guess, to a lot of cyclists, but for me after about 10 months of riding it was definitely the first and hopefully the last time it happened. On the last 300 metres to my house I am obviously puffing and panting a bit, to my total horror I managed to swallow a fly! The worst thing was, I felt it shoot into my mouth and stick to the back of my throat – I immediately stopped, bent over double and hacked for all I was worth (so much so I came close to throwing up). In retrospect I think maybe it would have been better if I had thrown up at least then the little git couldn’t lay a million eggs in my stomach. But the idea of making myself throw up by the roadside, in my own road, filled my ego with dread – what if a neighbour saw me? They might think I am unfit and was throwing up from exhaustion, oh the shame of it!
I am having nightmares now of going to the toilet and passing out a swarm of flies – the only upside of the whole event (apart from being better off after the incident than the fly would have been) is that my wife suggested I should make sure it was dead by drowning it in vodka – one piece of advice from her that I definitely followed, even if I didn’t think it plausible.
Mambo Score: Mambo (-10)
Fly Score (-100)
The other yucky event happened two days earlier – on my way home from work again. Whilst passing through Lewisham (you will see in a later post my opinion of people from Lewisham) I went through an underpass. Now standing either side of the underpass (about 6 metres to either side) was a group of pedestrians. I, in my great wisdom, thought they had stopped because of the big puddle that had developed there (it was raining quite hard) and they didn’t want to get their feet wet. It was time to show the superiority of the cyclist.
I had no need to fear a puddle and therefore if anything went a little faster than I would normally through a puddle, I wanted to show them that I had no fear of a puddle on my trusty bike. I remember doing the same once a number of years back when I was in a big 4 x 4, all the other cars had stopped at a massive flood in the road I just continued through it at quite a speed, the magnificent plumes of water either side of the car as a I shoot through, announcing to all the onlookers that I had one over on them.
Now back to the Lewisham “puddle” – as I rode up to it full of confidence and arrogance a terrific smell hit my nostrils! This was no ordinary puddle – but a massive lake of crap – obviously the sewers had blocked / flooded and had pushed their contents up onto the footpath.
But it was too late – I could not stop – I hit the crap lake going too fast – fortunately it was the consistency of porridge and I managed to make to the other side, but not without quite a large amount spraying up onto my shoes and (horror of horrors) up my back as I had no rear mudguard on. I had two choices, ride round the corner and kill myself or make it to the nearest petrol station (about 1,000 meters) and wash it off. Obviously I went for the second option (though it was a close call). At the petrol station I went to the water pump and to the bemused looks of the people filling up their cars, started to poor water over my feet, then my back and then the bike. I am not sure being covered in human excrement is ever an advisable thing – but when you know it is from the bowels of Lewisham residents – then, well it just can’t be any worse?
Mambo Score: (-1,000,000) (X 100 because it was in Lewisham).