Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Are we having a good time?
Shall we limber up with a little audience interaction – a getting to know you better session.
Hands up, everybody here, who procrastinates?
Take your time…
Okay – all of you who are passive aggressive, keep your hands down by your sides and mutter “get stuffed” under your breath.
Those of you who are cyclists, please raise a hand. Both hands? No hands? That would be right, frigging show offs!
It’s good to see cyclists with senses of humour.
I mean, statistically there have to be some cyclists with funny bones...
I hold nothing against cyclists – well, not since they took out intervention orders.
Please don’t get me wrong – its not that I have an overwhelming dislike of all humans who partake of the riding of such beasties.
However, I do have an irrational reaction to cycle related matters. I have had therapy, but the nightmares do continue.
It is a recurring theme of my life is the connection of bicycle related misadventures and the moments of despair.
Take, for example, the REAL reason that I am in your fair city on this specific weekend - is because I had to go to a dentist.
“Hey”, I hear you think (because that is my particular superpower) “where does an approaching middle-aged – don’t fool yourself darling – biddy get off associating the final chapters of her dontic disaster ride with a lifestyle of wide smiles and the up/down thrust of the pedalators of this world?”
You are rather floral with your thought processes, I must say, and I do not appreciate the dig at my age!
It goes a little something like this…
Once upon a time, when I (and the world) was young, I had a bicycling milestone and a grandfather with pony promises arriving – or due to arrive - on the same day.
How frigging exciting is that to a seven-year-old girl?
The whole bike without trainer-wheels concept was cracked with years of tears and slavish endeavour.
Grandpa was set to arrive in his Golden Chrysler Valiant sedan at some point during the afternoon.
Knowing the way that Grandpa drove, it was bound to be later rather than sooner – but hope and pony promises had my insides doing somersaults.
My anticipation of showing Grandpa the newfound ability to truly bi-cycle across the gravel was bound to ensure that the oft-promised pony – his stated bribe for any feat - would materialise out of the boot.
All afternoon, I alternated peering up the road for plumes of dust - and practicing my perculiar combination of balance, beat, bounce and blessings from a merciful god to achieve the upright glide of a seasoned professional.
Right on dusk, a ray of sun glinted off a distant windscreen and gave cheer…
I ran for my bike. Grandpa tooted the horn and the Golden Golden Chrysler Valiant glid towards the back gate.
I hopped on my bike and started my short journey to greet him.
Grandpa got out of the car. He and the rest of the family looked toward me.
I sped up. Now was the moment. Now was the moment. Now was the moment.
My foot slipped from a pedal – I hit some loose gravel – I forgot how to brake – the bike steered to the left –the wheel hit a rut - I sailed forward over the handlebars – the road came up to meet me – and connected with a tooth.
I am not saying it is the fault of the bike. By extrapolation, it is not the fault of all of those good men and women who pedal across the country that I have had every profession with a dontic term in their names in my oral orifice at some point - nor can they be blamed for the therapy required to get here tonight.
But they are such good targets.
And I still hold hope for that pony.