Happy New Year. I think we need to slap ourselves in the face until we realise we should say this to each other on the winter solstice rather than the arbitary 31st’n’1st, but hey ho.
I have identified few downsides to re-taking up cycling over this last 18 months. I could argue that I’m kinda skint, for it is undeniably true that I’ve spent more on bikey shit than I needed to, but it is also the case that I have weakness for buying shit with my dick, so whatever other obsession might have leoparded on me in said interim would perhaps have cost as much. It is also truth of vehement purity that I have enjoyed the bikey shit I bought, for example the recent ZOMG illumination of my previously mentioned NideRider light during an astronomy raid into Tayside’s Go-Fuck-Yourself-Humans areas of nocturnal darkness. I like a bit of stargazing, but even in Tayside that means going on ropy B-roads, so a floodlight is pretty nice for getting you, in a fashion that lets you see potholes and dead horses on the road, to the bit where you can’t see a single human-based light. I recommend doing that, by the way. I’m probably at the 2nd or 3rd percentile of humanity in terms of being a spiritual person(that means I’m shite at it, not-maths people) but standing in the nae-kidding isolation with naught but the planet around you is very much worth doing for the sake of your health. Both kinds.
One downside of cycling I do bemoan is that my source of anecdotes of People On The Bus has completely dried up. I racked enough of them back in the day to hold my own across a table of strangers, but when out with old friends or family, I’ve got nothing they’ve not heard to death, and I’m certainly bored of telling them. I’m not going to get the bus with any more frequency than my current lunar azure, partly because I don’t have the patience to wait for them unless I have to, and partly because much as everyone loves a good old currently ex-prisoners at the back talking about sells the best drugs and fashions the best stabbing weapons in Saughton tale, I don’t recall desperately enjoying being there at the time.
You don’t really get the same thing on the bike. You get the bastard offspring of driver’s tales and longshanker’s tales – if you’re a vehicular cyclist then you experience much the same eejits as anyone motor-powered, but when on footpaths or just plain riding slow, you have the time to see, hearand smell most of what you would on foot. All of them miss that vital component of being sat near the blowhole of the anecdotee until he, she or it has liberally doused you with the spume and cavernous lungreek of their eccentricity not once but many times.
On the bike, you just think ‘weirdo’ and politely cycle until far away.
One of the ex-cons was going to light up a ciggie till his friends informed him it was banned. He apologised to the bus at large and put it back in his jacket. Seemed quite embarrassed, really.