Another cracker from the “80s film random quote generator” much loved by the hedgehog. Until inconveniently corrected by authoritative references, I used to couple it with “Your ass is grass and I’m a lawnmower”, but that is from an entirely different movie. And someone deep in my withery cortex lies the title, the retrieval of which shall make for a happy day sometime in the future.
I’m sure there is a cheating short cut to the answer, and while that would be entirely wrong for something ready to be winkled from analogue memory, it would – had it been available – have been invaluable during, or for preference just before, a crashette on my morning commute.
Car not bike. Five ton tractor ballasted by four mighty hay bales, not a clear road. Narrowing bridge barriered by armco, not forgiving ditch. Too much speed, not enough time. Too fast for the road, too slow when you’re late.
It was a moment of perfect irony as idle wonderment at the almost total lack of traffic on this unlined, twisty backroad morphed into wide eyed terror as my world was filled with high tyred immovable tonnage and not much else. No way I was stopping in time – unless your definition of “in time” includes frontal impacts and mighty airbag action.
A small slither of blacktop looked too narrow an option for the mini-truck to squeeze through, but it was the only option presenting itself before Insurance and Hospitals became involved.
“Hit the brakes and he’ll fly right by” came unbidden to a mind with far more pressing issues to deal with including steering into the tiniest of gaps, bracing for impact and offering a small prayer to the God of Collisions*.
I nearly made it too, missed the tractor wheel by the width of a badger’s todger at the expense of carressing the barrier with the front wheel arch. Inch either side and I was deep in the cacky.**
I had – conveniently – shuddered to a noisy halt at the window of the impossibly sanguine farmer who offered me this from on high “You might want to take it a bit easy lad, third one I has this year and we had to remove the last daft bugger with a fork lift“. He was joking. Probably.
It occurred to me some fifteen shaken miles later that it wasn’t just speed that nearly lunched the X-Trail, more than that this is the route I’ve commuted on about fifty times which is sometimes enlivened playing chicken with wheeled agricultural machinery. Because there is always room for a bike, and if there really isn’t a ditch works almost as well.
So some important consumer advice here; “Cars are wider than bikes“. I expect the armco scrapings will probably polish out, but nothing short of H2S04 steamed through an industrial pressure washer will do the same for my pants.
Proper bottom clenching it was. More on this theme when I’m left alone long enough to tell great lies through the medium of photography and self serving text documenting our mountain trip.
And in case you’re still struggling to identify the film “Screw this up and you’ll be flying rubber dogshit out of Hong Kong“. I find such missives comforting at times like this.
* “C’mon cut me some slack here. You KNOW how many times I’ve rammed trees on a mountain bike. I’m bloody well in credit”
** We’ve all been there lads. Easy mistake to make in the dark.