Turning somersaults

Oh. My. God.

I’ve just had THE most embarrassing bike accident EVER.

Even as I’m nursing the purple egg that’s blooming on my shin, just thinking about the ridiculousness of it all makes me break into a cold sweat. But also, I must admit, cackle with mortified laughter.

Picture the scene…

I’m on my bike, waiting to cross the road. (Yes, at the cycle crossing. I wasn’t infringing the rights of pedestrians.) Finally, I spot a gap in the traffic, so I zip across … only to find that, thanks to the incessant “summer” rain, the grip on my handlebars has water inside, and as I invest it with my full weight to get the bike moving, it slips clean off the handlebars, causing me first to wobble violently, then come crashing dramatically to the ground, leaving me spread-eagled on the asphalt in the middle of a blind bend.

Truly spectacular. And all my own work, too.

A bus comes whooshing past just as I’m disentangling myself from the bike and picking myself up, horn blaring at my apparent stupidity in taking a tea break in the middle of the road. The incredulous stares of bored commuters bore into me, and I can tell I’ve just become an amusing anecdote that will be related around the water cooler later this morning.

I drag my bike to the kerb, and I’m just dusting myself off when a passing cyclist comes over to offer me a kind word and a packet of tissues.

“Are you alright?” he says.

He’s clearly wondering how I managed to create my own spontaneous – and quite spectacular – mash-up, when my bike is showing no sign of breakdown and there’s not another cyclist in sight.

I reply in the affirmative, and since I can’t trust my shaking, shock-ridden body to form a coherent sentence, I wave the offending grip at him by way of explanation.

“Ooh, nasty!” he says. “It’s all this rain; they get water inside them. Then they just scoot off!”

I wish you’d shared that knowledge before I performed the perfect face-plant in the middle of the road, I think, but I nod sagely and continue picking stray bits of skin from my elbow.

“Still,” he continues, “I’ve gotta say you did it with style – that really was quite spectacular!”

And, giving me a broad wink, he pedals off.

Pulling a slightly sarcastic smile at his retreating form, I imagine how the whole thing must have looked from the outside and I can’t help laughing a bit. I get gingerly back on my bike, battle with the chain for a few moments, and eventually get on my way.

Finally sitting at my desk, I drop a text to Uni Boy.

“Ohmigod! Guess what just happened?”

I hardly dare say it, but things with Uni Boy seem to have reached a state of equilibrium. Of course, he changes like the prevailing wind, so I’ve learned to sleep with one eye open. But at the moment, all is well. He does his thing; I do mine. Then, when we get together it’s hugs, kisses and laughter all the way.

But this temporary comfort doesn’t mean that I’m blind to other opportunities. Oh no.

As if to emphasise the point, my phone pings to announce the arrival of a text. It’s from a friend I bumped into last night. We hadn’t seen each other for ages, but I’d taken the trouble to enquire about a particularly fine specimen of manhood that was part of his group.

The message is succinct: “Hahaha!” it says. “Yes, he’s single.”

Good news! Of course, Hot Man may be a trainspotter or a raving lunatic, but after my disastrous commute I could do with cheering up, and that bit of gossip will just have to do.


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