The 4Bs




and Bastards

(Scenario – i set off early this morning on a ‘loaded ride’ carrying a full set of camping and adventuring gear on my bike as a bit of practise for a 10ish day pedalling trip a *bit* further North than the Peak District)

Bastard 1. I was the only moving thing on the A57 out of Sheffield when i heard a 4×4 go down the gears behind me. It didn’t need to go down the gears because it was daylight on an empty open road and it could have glided past me. It didn’t. It was an off-roading metallic blue old Discovery and it was belching black smoke. It drove towards me deliberately and clipped me with its wing mirror. It then accelerated away leaving me in the hedgerow inhaling fumes. Bastard.

Bastard 2. A few hours later i was pedalling along the top edge of the Mayfield Valley. Straight road but narrowish. A MTBer pedalling towards me with a white Luton van behind him. The camber and co dirion of the road meant both cyclists were (as they’re allowed to be) about 1m in from the verge. There isn’t enough space for the van. But the van drives round the MTBer and straight at me. I’m off the bike and in to the verge. The van driver laughing and swearing at me.

I know lots of cyclists that didn’t want to buy a bike or head body worn camera but after multiple near misses, they have done. I might do. The first one shook me a little, but the second one was a deliberate attempt to harm me. These bastards never stop and get out of their 3/4 ton steel weapon and have a *gentlemanly* conversation. And i am wiser than to provoke them, as, in both cases, there was nowhere for me to ‘escape’ to.

On a brighter note ….

Five hours pedalling and finding random benches and brewing up a coffee on the stove and going slow enough to see and hear nature, and popping in to an Inn and an old water-wheel house to get warm.

Gear lists and ferry timings flew in and out of my head. How is it that you can catch a train and an 8hr ferry journey to islands way North of here, quicker, and for the half the price, than you get a train to a large Scottish town ?

I stopped at a cake stall some kids were holding to raise funds for the Ukraine. Cakes were consumed !!

And after ‘Winnies Bench’ when i had ‘turned for home’ and whooped down the 20 minutes of downhill to my flat, i realised i didn’t have my phone. It was back up on Nellies Bench on the edge of the National Park. Filed under ‘extra training’.

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