And so to December. So far so wet. I know I should be showing you pictures of cycling through flooded lands and rivers in spate but instead I’ve gone for more festively traditional cold scenes by harking back to my time cycling through New Zealand in winter.
But back to this fair and flooded land. Anyone who has previously perused among these haphazardly updated pages will have seen that I was invited to be on a cycling ‘panel’ at the RGS Explore day in Central London. This I duly did but the most exciting part of the day was cycling to the event through the first storm of winter: 70mph gales, torrential rain, deep flooded roads, lightening, falling trees (one of which narrowly missed taking me with it). More recently, I dragged the builder and Molly up to Leicester with me (through yet more rain and floods) to Leicester where I gave a bike talk and picture show to Leicester and Rutland Cycling Club. Here the most interesting part of the evening was meeting a young man in the audience. He was the lucky survivor of a horrific collision with a car. He was cycling home from work one night and ‘lit up like a Christmas tree’ when a driver (a man in his forties) travelling in the opposite direction shot across his path in a ‘sorry mate, I didn’t see you’ fashion. The messy result: a broken femur, a lengthy coma and a skull that needed rebuilding. On top of that he is now prone to epileptic fits. Touchingly, he said it was my books that made him determined to get back on his bike again.
Anyway, I don’t want to put a damper on cycling with all of this. It is still the finest and most enjoyable and practical means of transport on the whole planet, and what’s more, you can eat loads and still lose weight.
P.S. For any cyclists affected by motorists who crash or nearly crash into you like the case above, the CTC (the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation) is currently running a STOP SMIDSY (Sorry, Mate, I Didn’t See You…’) campaign. See www.stop-smidsy.org.uk for more details.
Oh, and Merry Christmas, whether it be a wet, flooded or cold one.