|My journalist brother exhorts me to photograph dramas, "more interesting than pretty landscapes". I always forget - this one is thanks to Google Images|
Monday, 9 April 2012
Pride comes before derailment
On Thursday I took the Claude Butler Voyager on her/his/its maiden voyage. I put the bike on the train at Arnside, there was just one coach - only two cycles are permitted. There was already one on board. My journey was one stop, across Arnside Viaduct to Grange-over-Sands - six minutes and £2.50 (I think the bike went free).
Cycling back round the bay the sun was shining.The 28 inch wheels promote that sense of superiority gained riding in a 4 x 4, and the Voyager rolled along so much more freely than the old mountain bike which set me thinking about its recent sale.
I had Googled the Ebay purchaser, revealing him as a “systems developer” at Lancaster University. Some of his research had related to emotions transmitted by the skin with connotations for marketing. This sounded interesting. Various scenarios flitted through my mind: a car salesman having a gismo telling him your true feelings about the car being viewed when you touched it, or when you shook hands with him, and other potential applications too intimate to articulate here. I tried to promote conversation when I delivered the bike, but I was cut short, and the guy just wanted to be off somewhere else.
I suffered some nostalgia parting with the Terrago. It had been a part of my Munro endeavours over the last few years. One troublesome memory of derring-do occurred on my ascent of An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir, remote Munros southwest of Linn of Dee. I met two guys on the first summit, and they beat me to the second by taking a shorter route. I was nettled.
Back at the bikes I saw the young duo some distance down the track. I was determined to restore pride by beating them back to Linn of Dee, a ride of about 10km. I was inspired, and at one with the bike, born along by the gods. I passed the junior-hards at great speed in a whirlwind of rattling stones and dust, heightening my senses yet again, and I pressed on. Three kilometres out from Linn of Dee I was abruptly stopped by a loud cracking sound. My rear wheel had submitted, but with clamorous protest, to a large stone, and it now looked like something out of a Salvador Dali painting - all bent and droopy.
The two Munro usurpers arrived, and were able to interpret the scene instantly. There was no conversation between us, they just passed by. I squirmed as I imagined their conversation, and pushed on with my wounded mount back to the car, a sadder and hopefully wiser egoist.