Warning, contains asterisks.
35 miles into a Coker ride in hot weather, low on water supplies and calories, slogging up a shallow but boring 10 mile long incline, and still 20 miles from the car… a child on an overdesigned 148 speed mountainbike has just pulled out of a gateway and failed to use her disc brakes,thus hitting my foot and I manage not to fall off, and not to swear…
Then… two youths passing the other way on foot, and one says, ‘You’ve lost your front wheel, mate!’ and it’s not his fault that he’s stupid boring and predictable, and he has no way of knowing I’ve heard this remark too many times, but…
So I theatrically slap my forehead in ironic surprise… snarl a response, and momentarily lose concentration and then UPD. Said youths burst into derisive laughter.
As the good book sayeth: ‘And lo! A mist came down, and the mist was red.’
Catching the Coker saddle as it fell, I turned and hurled the Coker to the side of the track, pointed an aggressive finger at the youths and remarked, ‘Come on then!’
To which he replied, ‘No thanks…’
To which I wittily reponded, ‘Well fing watch it then because I’m absolutely fing sick of tw**s like you!’
At this point, the rather crowded trail became deserted as grandparents, parents, children and young lovers dived under the metaphorical tables…
Now with the benefit of hindsight, I acept that my words, although sincere, were perhaps inappropriate to fostering a good public image for our sport, but on the other hand, they did elicit a very rapid apology.
I didn’t know I had it in me.