Watching It Happen In Slow Motion
So after two days taking it easy, it was back to the grindstone this morning. The plan was to put in 50 miles, starting at 6am. But watching just one more episode of Season 4 of Twenty-Four last night made for getting to bed late, so I ended up leaving the house just before seven.
I’ve got stuff to do today, so I decided to cut the planned ride up to Consett (the inspiration for the film ‘Deliverance’. Probably) , and instead head up the side of the valley from Rowlands Gill to Burnopfield. One day, I will make the trip to Consett - I’ve not done it three times now.
Riding along the Scotswood Road out of Newcastle, I got stopped by pretty much every set of traffic lights - and they’re every 2-400 yards. This, combined with the traffic going through the centre of town had brought my average speed down to 14.5 mph. But today wasn’t really about speed - it was just about getting out there, and putting some miles in.
ANYWAY . . . At the East end of William Armstrong Drive, the roundabout has now been replace by traffic lights. As I pulled away from these, a car came across in front of me, from the other carriageway, turning right. I thought that he was cutting it a bit fine . . . until I saw the second car following up behind.
It was one of those moments where suddenly everything slows down. Your Reptilian Brain takes over, and your adrenal gland goes into overdrive, hitting you with a dose of the legal version of The Columbian Marching Powder. I watched the car coming straight for me. If I’d stopped, I would have been right in its path. So the only way out was forward, and I have absolutely no idea where I found the acceleration from. At the same time, I’m thinking,
“Just before impact, get the right pedal to the top of the stroke. That way the sole of the shoe will be level with the car’s bumper, and absorb the energy, and you might get away without breaking your leg”
Then I was past the car, and now I’m wondering if I’m going to get spun as the car hits the rear wheel, or if it’ll just throw me on the ground as it rolls over the wheel. Moments after I realise that I’ve made it, I hear the car’s wheel’s lock up. The driver has finally seen me. Oh good.
Now there’s a problem with adrenaline. It can do strange things to your physical abilities (see above), while at the same time clouding your reason. The red mist had started to come down, and the last time that happened, when I woke up, everyone in the bar was dead. And there was just so much . . . so much blood . . .
Uh . . . sorry, I drifted off there a second. Anyway, now fully pumped up, I was off my bike and running back up the road, acting just like my ancestors might have done when confronted by the Red Coats (no, not the Butlins ones), but without painting my face blue & showing the enemy my bum before charging down to be slaughtered in a bog.
The driver was obviously shaken, and started to trot out the “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you” (”S.M.I.D.S.Y.”) , as I stood there screaming and shouting, using words that my mother doesn’t know that I know. Actually come to think of it, I didn’t know that I knew some of those words.
As I got back on my bike, I was shaking. I realised that this was just the stuff now circulating in my blood . . . time for a quick sip of the Funky Rehydration Mix . . . then get back into the groove, and pedal. The funny thing is that within two miles, I’d lifted my average speed up to 17mph.
The rest of the ride was uneventful, if a little steep, and now I’m home I’ve just ‘fessed up to Wife about how close I came to getting bounced this morning. Odd - she took it better than I thought she would.
I think I need to keep track of these things though, so I’m adding a new category to the blog - “Assassination Attempts”.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 08/29/2007
- Time: 07:00:00
- Total Time: 2:17:00.00
- Distance: 37 miles
- Average Speed: 16.2 mph
- Max Speed: 37 mph
- Average Cadence: 142
- Max Cadence: 92