I’ve always felt lucky – not in the sense that money rained down from heaven if I so much as looked at a lottery ticket, but in the way that, when the worst could have happened, it never quite did.
Of course, you don’t get to my age without a few mishaps and and mournful times, but I do take the attitude that if it hasn’t killed me, or worse, then I’ve got away with it.
And so far, I’m still here.
I did push my luck the other evening, though, on my bike.
I needed to pop into the bank in town. It’s only a few miles and the ride along the promenade is lovely. To add to the benefits, there’s a very steep little hill down to the harbour from here, which makes for a nicely challenging climb on the way back.
I had just enough daylight, I reckoned, to get there and back, but I took my lights anyway, to make sure I’d be visible to drivers in the gathering gloom.
I did the bank stuff – delayed by a few minutes as I needed to speak to an advisor. By the time I left it was still daylight but it had started to rain. Halfway home I was quite wet and it was fairly dark. No problem, since I was on the cycle path and my lights were on.
In that semi-darkness, bike lights don’t actually illuminate much. They make you more visible but they don’t have much effect on the twilight.
Still no problem. Except…
Just before you get back to St Aubin the cycle path merges with the footpath and most of the markings disappear. The path is plenty wide enough, but…
They have installed a couple of benches, pretty much in the middle of the path. They are brown. They are not lit in any way and they are very solidly fixed to the ground.
They are the proverbial immovable object, while I, and my bike, are not quite an irresistible force. The bike stopped dead, front tyre neatly wedged between the lats of the seat, while I smacked inelegantly face-first onto the seat. I just about got my hands out in time to save most of my face, then half slid and half rolled onto the ground.
Amazingly, no bones, teeth or even bike parts were broken. I realised I was dripping blood, but it didn’t seem to be too much. So I pulled the bike out from the bench, got back on and rode home.
(I have to climb that hill – its a rule of mine.)
Naturally, when I got home, in the light and warm, and once Jacqui had seen me, I didn’t feel quite so good…
I didn’t look great, either, but I’ll tell you about that next time…