Simon’s Cycle Shorts are now available to buy in both paperback (£8.39) and Kindle (£2.99) editions from Amazon. HERE


Two Bromptons, similarly undignified, sat folded on Platform 2 – strike-bound victims making friends as their respective owners made civil conversation in the warmth of the waiting room.

“Where are we?”

“Three Bridges, I think.”

“Oh – still a way to go then. He’s not happy with all this disruption.”

“He looks happy enough to me.” I glanced up to see him talking animatedly to the pretty owner of the Red Brompton I was sat with. For those that don’t know, we Bromptons are very special bicycles that can be folded up and taken on trains – we’re famous for it.

“Hmm…I haven’t seen him so happy on a commute for years. What does she do?”

“A yoga teacher. Him?”

“Lawyer – married.”

“Really? I always think educated men are so impressive. Is marriage an occupation?”

“No, but it’s what he always says.”

“Do you think he’s told her that? He doesn’t look as if he’s being ‘married’ to me.” I looked up again and although we couldn’t hear what they were saying through the partially steamed windows, he was clearly enjoying talking to her. It had been an hour now. The trains indicator boards were still showing nothing due. On a previous occasion he had called the wife to pick him up, but she was out that evening. “No, I think they discussing more than the weather or how they’ll get home. I know that look on her face.”

“Do you think they could be falling in love?”

“No, it usually takes longer than an hour.”

“But you said  you know that look on her face – what did you mean?”

“Well, it’s just how I’ve seen her look before when she’s with someone she fancies. She just seems to look at them differently. See, her head is slightly bowed and she is having to open her eyes wider to look at him – and now they are changing their positions – see, she has just moved her shoulder back and has pushed her hair away from her face.” I was staring at what was going on. The Red Brompton was right – he was definitely fascinated by the yoga teacher. Were they a pair of rail-cross’d lovers changing their lives in front of our eyes?

“I think they’re coming out!”

“Here let me have a look.” He knelt down with the Red Brompton and deftly felt for movement in her head bearings – I’d had that problem once before so I knew what he was doing.

“His hands are very warm – he sounds ever so nice.” Whispering, Red was blushing even redder under his touch. “He really feels like he know what he’s doing.”

“Yes, he does – he’s good with Bromptons. He’s always tinkering with me.” The Yoga teacher stood and watched intently.

“Yes,” he said, “there’s a little bit of movement – it’s easy to fix – I can do it now if you wish?” Within ten seconds he’d expertly untangled Red and stood her on her rear frame. Then, kneeling down again with his Allen keys, he swiftly adjusted the bearings. The yoga teacher rested her hand fondly on the saddle as he did so. When he’d finished, he folded Red away and the two of them returned to the waiting room again. As he held the door open for her to usher her into the warmth, she paused briefly and mouthed ‘thank you’ to him. Their faces were very close.

Today started like most; the 6.28 from Burgess Hill to East Croydon – a quick change to the London Bridge train and then the short ride to the office in Chancery Lane. The week had been busy and the union strike was starting tomorrow – he’d already decided not to try to get to the office then. The journey home, however, had been foreshortened when the driver stoped at Three Bridges where the train terminated. Most of the other commuters had slowly drifted away and, by 8pm, only the two of them were still holed up in the waiting room. What did they think they were waiting for? There clearly weren’t going to be any more trains that night; even the tannoy had been turned off.

“Where were you headed this evening, Red?”

“We live in Haywards Heath – we’re coming from a class she takes in East Croydon every Thursday.”

“So home is only about ten miles away – she could ride there – you’ve got lights.”

“She doesn’t like riding in the dark – and anyway, wouldn’t a cab would be a better idea?”

“Yes, but only when or if one or both of them decides that they need to get going. It’s not getting any warmer out here!”

We eventually left Three Bridges station at around ten o’clock in a cab headed for Haywards Heath – the two of us were bundled unceremoniously into the boot but we could hear the two of them murmuring in the back seat.

“Who’d have thought we could have talked for so long?” He sounded like a guilty school boy.

“It was really nice – thank you for keeping me company.” There was a pause.

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget that waiting room.” There was some movement and then the sound of a nervous kiss. They had fallen in love! I was right. Yes, it did take longer than an hour, but somehow I knew when he first saw her, he’d fallen in love and she’d then smiled back because she knew. In the darkness I sensed a little sigh from Red. They didn’t talk again until the cab stopped outside her house. He got out too and, after telling the driver to wait, he got Red from the boot and unfolded her again. The two of them stood and smiled awkwardly at each other. After short pause. they moved together and kissed again with Red in between them.

“Wow,” the yoga teacher whispered, “I never thought parting was going to be so hard – good night until tomorrow.”

“Yes, Caffe Nero on South Road – see you there at 10.” They kissed again slowly and she walked away across the road to her house.

Bromptons love to break the rules

Their riders never mad nor fools

Compacted bikes for easy carry

Bromptons made lovers of Sally and Harry

Simon’s Cycle Shorts are now available to buy in both paperback (£8.39) and Kindle (£2.99) versions from Amazon. HERE

Copyright © 2017 by Simon Bever. All Rights Reserved