Cycling Stories

A “Fun” Afternoon

March 29, 2020

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A “Fun” Afternoon

Rooting through the contents of my parent’s garden shed,
I’d asked to borrow a hosepipe but found my old bike instead.

I brushed away the cobwebs that had gathered on the pedals,
Then wiped away the dust from the frame’s lightly rusted metal.

I gave the brakes a squeeze, they seemed to work just fine, I checked the tires and chain, they all seemed to be in line.

Grinning like a moron, I pulled the bike outside, “Look what I found, dad! I’m going to take it for a ride!

Like a kid at Christmas, I took the bike straight toward the door,
Completely forgetting the hosepipe that I’d gone to their house for.

My wife laughed at me when I returned home with my rediscovered toy,
“It’s way too small for you, you’re not a teenage boy!”

Later that afternoon, once I’d made sure the bike was in good condition,
I headed out the door for what I hoped would be an exciting expedition.

There’s a forest near our house, where I go walking with our dogs,
It’s covered with trails and tracks that snake between fallen logs.

I thought of the thrill of riding at high speed amongst the trees,
I’ve seen loads of people doing it, surely it would be a breeze?

I strapped my helmet tight, covering my greying thinning hair, I pumped up both the tires to make sure they were full of air.

I hopped onto the saddle, and gripped the handles tight,
As I pedaled down the road, a hill came into sight.

It was just a gradual slope, no higher than 20 feet,
I’d walked up and down it many times, it was at the end of my street. 

But halfway up the climb, my legs began to burn, My thighs were pushing hard, but the pedals didn’t want to turn.

I made it to top, going at the pace of a snail,
If I struggled up that ramp, how would I cope on a woodland trail?

I decided to continue, ignoring the pain in my thighs,
I was convinced that I could do this, I’d soon get into my stride.

As I headed into the woods, clouds began to form overhead,
A low rumble of thunder followed, filling my soul with dread.

I was deep into the forest when the first raindrops started to fall,
In just a t-shirt and shorts, I was not prepared for this weather at all.

Within a few minutes, I was soaked from head to toe, Worse still, I’d lost my bearings and was unsure of which way to go.

I slowed to a halt and stepped off my bike to rest,
I was completely soaked and miserable, I’d lost all of my initial zest.

My legs were caked in mud, my eyes were stinging from the rain, My thighs burnt, my lungs ached, and my whole body was in pain.

I cursed and got back on my bike, trying to retrace my route,
Was it left at this tree, or right? My mind was clouded with doubt.

Trying to gather my bearings, I pedaled along a track,
Hoping to see something familiar to help find my way back.

I soon recognized a rock which I’d passed a short while ago,
If I headed back along that path, I should soon be on my way home!

The trail ahead grew wider, and sloped down in front of me,
Despite the rain and mud, I was quickly picking up speed!

I weaved between the branches, and even got some air,
This was actually fun, despite my soaking clothes and hair!

As I neared the trail’s end, I was smiling from ear to ear,
The rain had stopped, the sun was out, and the road ahead was clear.

I coasted down my street which had earlier seemed like a burden,
I was completely wrong earlier, that much was now certain.

As I headed through the door, wife greeted me with a kiss on my muddy cheek, “That was brilliant,” I said with a smile, “I’m going out again next week!”

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