|Ignore my stupid look, I'm trying to look cool, but failing.|
And don't get me started on my hair cut. If it's not too short, like it is now, it's too long and straggly and untidy-looking. I can't win with my hair, but I prefer it really short – like a number three crop – because it's just tidier. The problem, of course, is that it looks a little thuggish and add to that my unfortunate sailor's saunter – my dad always told me not to lunge forward on my left leg, but I never listened – and things ain't looking good for yours truly. Have they ever?
You know what I hate most of all? Passing a mirror. It normally happens in shopping malls or clothes stores and I have to look away, scared, perhaps, that I won't like what I see. In fact I know I won't like what I'd see, because I've seen it. It's a bit like hearing the sound of your own voice. I can't stand the sound of mine, but it's my voice, what can I do about it other than put on a stupid voice, perhaps a squeaky, helium tone, like Joe Pasquale, or a snobby one, like Benedict Cucumber Patch. But these are all minor things to worry about in the scheme of things, although I do need to smarten up a little, both on and off the ride, and I need to make things a little safer. Lights that work would be a good start and perhaps something a little 'high viz' to increase my visibility.
On the way to the green to meet Andy, Phil explained how he too had taken a tumble. On Saturday, while out riding with Steve, he stopped suddenly, the bike swung round, like a gate, and having not disengaged from those Lycra monkey shoes that adhere the rider to the bike (get rid of them for a start, Phil) he keeled over and hit the tarmac, admittedly not with the speed and force that I came face-to-face with the road, but worrying nonetheless. Had it happened moments earlier, Phil explained, he would have been run over by a white van, not the most glamorous of exits. The thought of what might have been made him feel sick and I know what he means. I've had situations in the past, one involving stupidity with cars, when I might not have made it, but miraculously I emerged unscathed bar a cut lip and a visit to Derriford Hospital to get checked out. I won't explain any more about it, but suffice it to say that I spent a week or more wondering about what might have been, but not in a good way as there was only one other kind of outcome. "Ain't nobody can fly a car like Hooper!"
|Rockhopper Sport 29 at Tatsfield village|
The most amazing part of today's ride, however, was Phil bringing along three enormous slabs of his wedding cake from the summer. Apparently, all the leftover cake – there was a fair amount – went straight into the freezer and he only defrosted it this weekend. But when I say 'slabs' I'm not exaggerating. None of us finished them, although I did better than most (and have felt ashamed of myself all day, especially when I went round mum's and helped myself to two slices of Christmas cake).
When we left Tatsfield we all felt slightly heavier than when we arrived. Not good when you consider that we go riding to keep ourselves trim and fit, but instead, there we were stuffing our faces with a rich chocolate cake and all before 0800hrs. But what a cake! Hats off to Phil for bringing it along. I must, however, make a conscious effort this week to steer clear of anything sweet, like cookies or chocolates.
We rode home off-road along the 269 as the road and the fog proved miles to dangerous and parted company as usual at the Green.