Oh please, not again.

I intend to protect the right of any adult cyclist to be stupid. Even if that includes me “ you see I’ve been chasing folders again. I am like that dog, barking madly, in pursuit of a motorbike. I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught it.

Stopped at one of a thousand lights on the mall, a cyclist missing what any sane person would call a proper bike rolled up on his comedy wheels. I did a quick double take and yes:

Randomly assembled mechano built by an autistic child?
Check

Expression of constipated righteousness ?
Check

Hint of cheese
Check

Bicycle clips, major hair even under pink helmet, bumps in all the right places?
Er, no.

It was a bloke this time and he’s away like a misshapen welding accident when the lights switch.

Great. Bloody Groundhog Day.

After 100 tough miles in the last week, my legs have all the latent power of a small trifle. I’m not going to chase him. I’m really not. I cannot be arsed. I have nothing to gain and the final shreds of dignity to lose. So leave it, ok?

Imagine then my surprise as he rocketed backwards as if caught in an unseen tractor beam. This space age technology is brought to you through the power or TrifleLegâ„¢. And yet what little energy summoned from the reserves of the mildly annoyed was wasted as the next light burned a hard red. He coasted up beside me with a smug little smile on his face matching his stunted steed. On closer inspection, he was riding what’s euphemistically known as a performance folder”. Which is patently bollocks in the same way as Sainsbury’s manufacture a performance shopping trolley” or referring to my ample midriff as a performance gut”. I mean, really.

Marketing really works then“, I offered nodding my head in the superior manner of a bloke owning a bike with adult proportions, it’s not like a real bike is it?”. Lights changed and we’re off with my creaking bottom bracket competing with my knees and him trying to look racey on the Emperor’s new pig iron.

On this went up Constitution Hill, each of us ˜taking the wind’ and then powering past trying to hide hyperventilation with a knowing and “ by now “ rather desperate smile.

I stole a few bike lengths through an outrageous violation of at least half the highway code but Triumphant Arch brought us together again. I just couldn’t shake the bugger and was convinced he was doing something dastardly with string and pulleys. But let’s be clear here, this wasn’t because he was fitter or more skilled than I “ no he was blatantly cheating with stiff shoes and SPD’s. I can’t believe that’s still legal in this Nanny State we live in.

Like two gunshot wounds through my heart, he clipped in and raced across the Arch like a proper cyclist except on his lad’s bike. Teeth drawn back in a rictus grin, we were so busy racing, we failed to notice an elderly tourist couple perambulating idly in the Spring sunshine. In a moment of shared responsibility, we broke apart and flowed round them “ still maxed out, one either side “ like a river over an unseen rock. I know now the Chinese for fuck we’re going to die and I need to tell you that I slept with your sister but it didn’t mean anything“. Death by spiky pedal narrowly avoided, they collapsed onto the floor clearly in need of a strong drink. No problem Ken, happy to be an ambassador for London “ let’s do lunch.

Separated by an elbow width, we ran the lights on the North East corner and fling the bikes hard right into Hyde Park. But my legs were dead, fit only for embalming, in fact my entire body was totally fucked and I just had to stop. Had to. But I couldn’t, I wanted to win just a little more.

Please turn off, please, please, please“, I, er, pleaded, but no he’s hooked up on my rear wheel and soon pulls along side breathing hard. Goes pretty well, these little stupid bikes eh?�”I observed through a gurn of pain you must feel a right prat tho“. Well that was the end of our temporary amnesty as his eyes flashed with anger – Biter! With an obvious effort, he’s gone for maximum spin and began to pull ahead but representing the 26inch class, I couldn’t let that happen. Like racehorses straining for the line, we’re neck and neck with 300 yards of park separating the winners from the also rans. He nudges ahead once more so I stand up and strain every sinew in one final effort with muscles burning up like the Shuttle on re-entry. He looks across and grins Not. Bad. For. A. Fucking. Folder. Is. It?“. And then finally, thankfully, ohgodyes, it’s over. He’s peeled off onto the Bayswater Road “ still racing “ but I’m not going that way. In fact I’m going nowhere fast.

I’d have had you. Any time I wanted. I was just playing with you you half biked freak” I tried to shout but it came across as an asthmatic whisper. He responded with a wave “ well I think it was a wave, it had fingers in it.

Only when he’s completely out of sight do I collapse in a spent heap waiting for death or an oxygen tent whichever comes first.

I honestly don’t know who won. I’m pretty sure it was me. More than sure, almost certain. Anything else would be a statistical anomaly. No way I could lose twice to a folder. It’s like lightening, once is unlucky, twice, God hates you.

When I’m the ruler of the world “ and it’s only a matter of time, the first order of business will be to fry every folder and their bloody supercilious riders. Slowly. And maybe I’ll add some scorpions as well.

5 thoughts on “Oh please, not again.

  1. NickF

    Adding scorpions, eh? Presumably you’d have completely toasted Mr Foldy-Bike if you’d been riding ze Vinds Ov Change.

    I remember these pointless races from when I lived in London and used to commute down the Old Kent Road, the sport enlivened by dodgy minicab drivers swerving aimlessly across the road as they tried to take out both me and my opposition.

    Actually, it’s not the foldy-bike brigade that annoy me – some of these bikes are pretty good, and you can half-believe that the riders are possibly quite good. It’s the people on rubbish ‘leisure’ bikes, or, worse, the ‘buy-one-get-one-free-£49.99-full-suspension’ bikes which annoy when pedalled briskly. You just know that they shouldn’t be able to keep up, and although it’s rare that they do, you need to put that extra effort in, right? Because being beaten by a cyclist is bad, but being beaten by someone who doesn’t even care about cycling is far, far worse.

    I’ll save the frying pan for them…….

  2. Nuggie

    You mean you can’t conclusively say whether you beat the beardy git on his folding bike? I would need years of intensive therapy if that happened to me.

    Save yourself the hassle, go and get that SV650.

  3. Alex

    No I definately beat him. I remember now. Nig: You NEED years of intensive therapy after your recent bike kleptomania.

    Nick: I agree with that actually. Normally running about 5 psi in the tyres as well.

  4. Freeride Barter the God of Rock

    Al, Surely there is an answer to these “folder” duels.

    Can’t you just reach over and undo the nut in the middle of the frame and then gleefully wave as your mark goes round in circles.

  5. Alex

    Ah the “Bismark” attack. I like it Dave. I’ve always wondered if one of them may ‘spontaneously fold’ and in the middle would be a shocked and somewhat shortened rider.

    We can hope 😉

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