Simon’s Cycle Shorts are now available to buy in both paperback (£8.39) and Kindle (£2.99) editions from Amazon. HERE
Wow, he was a bit of a rough one! It’s a good job they’re not all like that or I wouldn’t have lasted week. The ‘he’ in question picked me up outside the station at around 3pm this afternoon and without so much as a single word, checked me out for size, gave my saddle a squeeze and then took me to a house up Duke Street; the one where the lovely pregnant lady lives; I say lovely, because she always rides me so nicely and tells me I’m lovely. I think the man was in a big hurry because he didn’t even tuck his trousers in his socks and the flared bits kept getting caught in the chain; pity there wasn’t any oil left on it to smear on them. Once we got to the house, he left me against the hedge on the gravel drive, before marching up to and hammering loudly on the front door with his fist. I should have known something was awry as it was an odd time to get picked up. I usually get the weekday afternoons to myself.
He was really beastly to me, you know. At one point, when we were stopped at the lights in the High Street on the way to Duke Street, he started thumping his hand on the handlebars. It wasn’t as if something was loose or he was trying to adjust anything; he just thumped my bars and muttered to himself. And then, when my rear mudguard stay started rattling against the wheel – it had been loose for a while since the three-eighths bolt rattled itself free when the old lady from Wisteria Cottage was taking me to the chemist – he leapt off, and started kicking at my rear wheel and saying horrible things. But it didn’t stop the rattling, which started up instantly again as soon as we moved off.
The nice old man from the church, the Reverend Stainer, did try to fix the missing bolt with some green garden wire a while back, but that soon wore through and dropped off; I was actually quite pleased at the time, because the green didn’t go so well with my colour; us Raleigh Wayfarers were painted a lovely navy blue. The Reverend is someone else that is always nice to me and sometimes takes me with him up the steep hill to see his brother on a Thursday afternoon, where afterwards they have tea in the garden if it’s sunny. But usually, my afternoons are just quiet through the week. The hills, by the way, are fine for me, as my Sturmey Archer AW 3-speed hub still works as well as it did when we left the Triumph Road factory in Nottingham in 1987.
A long time ago I used to belong Mr Roper at number 67 Rook Lane, and he looked after me really well; I got a proper yearly service at Mr Evan’s bicycle shop in the High Street where all my bearings were checked, my spokes were felt (the loose ones were tightened, which was always nice) and my brakes adjusted. Over the ten years we were together, he replaced my saddle once, and my brake and gear cables three times. My tyres were changed every year because Mr Brown rode me six miles out and back every day to the neighbouring town of Kings Worthy where he worked as a solicitor; they were always the same tyres; Michelin World Tour tyres with the amber walls. Size; 26 x 1 3/8 inches.
But then, one day, we had the accident. The red car just pulled out of Lovedon Lane and hit Mr Roper and me. His leg took most of the impact from the car and we were thrown across the road where he landed on his head. He died and I never saw him again; so much for wearing his silly yellow helmet. After the accident I was taken to the police station in Winchester with a few bumps and bruises, and there they put me in the yard for over a year. I was left with some other bicycles, police bicycles I think – they were all black and upright with rod brakes and black leather saddlebags. None of them spoke to me, which was a bit mean – it wasn’t my fault that Mr Roper died. But at least I was under cover at the station; though some of the chrome on my handlebars went a bit yellow.
When I was ‘released’ from the station, I ended up being ridden by most people in the village at one time or another. I don’t know quite how I got back here, but I think one of the policemen rode me back after a ‘late one’ and just left me in the High Street. Thankfully my trusty dynamo lights still work, so late night rides with the local boys aren’t uncommon – I do so enjoy the country lanes around the village in the dark. Recently, one of them from Larkwhistle Farm has got to taking me into Winchester at the weekends so that he can get back late without a using a taxi – they cost so much, you know. He is usually a bit drunk on the way home and we have to veer all over the road which is actually quite funny really – and even more so when he’s got some juicy plum of a girl perched on my crossbar!
So, this ‘man’ who left me in the garden. The one who threw me in the hedge? He only left me there for a bit but when he came out he seemed to be in even more of a hurry than before – there had been lots of shouting from inside the house which ended when a woman screamed really loudly. Immediately after, he came out of the front door, picked me up and tried to ride me straight out of the drive. But that was never going to work – Michelin World Tours weren’t made for riding on gravel and we quickly fell down. Cursing loudly, he picked me up again and literally ran me to the road where he jumped on my saddle and hammered his feet on the pedals down the hill – I think he was probably going back towards the station. As our speed picked up he started saying really rude things about the pregnant lady. But it was only when he said something about the baby not being his ‘so she deserved what she got’ that I became angry. I realised then that he was talking about that lovely lady with the yellow hair. What had he just done to her? She couldn’t have ‘deserved’ anything. She was lovely.
We zoomed to the bottom of the hill in no time at all, and as we approached the T-junction and, with the man still loudly cussing loudy, I decided that enough was enough; he needed to be taught a lesson. Wouldn’t it be quite funny if the brakes just didn’t work and we were to career across the junction and into the bushes on the other side? That would teach him!
How was I to know that my favourite farm boy from Larkwhistle Farm was coming along the main road in the big red tractor with two comely plums in his cab? I think I might have taught my rider more than just a lesson; He died too.
Simon’s Cycle Shorts are now available to buy in both paperback (£8.39) and Kindle (£2.99) versions from Amazon. HERE