Errandonnee 4: Keep calm and carry on 

Date: 22 March 2017, about 7:30pm

Bicycle: 1987 BSA folder a.k.a. “Goldfinger”

Category: Personal care

One thing learned/observed: Nothing beats a bike ride to take your mind off another futile act of barbarism

Miles: 2.54

E17MTD: 13.00

I’d planned to ride to Nero’s for a coffee straight after work, but then work went on a bit and on the way back I heard on the radio about the ‘events’ in Westminster earlier this afternoon (I’m writing this yesterday, if you know what I mean). So when I got home I took a little time watching the news coming in. I used to be quite involved in politics so I know a few of the staffers who will have been holed up in the Palace of Westminster, and everyone in England knows at least someone who lives in London. I don’t yet know that everyone I know (old school friends etc) are ok. Normally when these things happen I try to carry on as if nothing had happened, but this one’s started to seep in a little.

There really was only one thing for it: TO THE CLOWN BIKE!

I rode over to Sainsbury’s, along the pavement which is quite lumpy as it dips down and back up again for every driveway, and the dropped kerbs haven’t quite been dropped enough. It is literally impossible to ride this bike with a straight face, the way it’s rather squirrely in its steering, the curious centre of gravity, the way the bell spontaneously dings over every bump, and the fact it cost just £30.

Anyway, I bought a few things to cheer myself up. Bourneville (my absolute favourite chocolate) was on offer, and I got a couple of beers: Tribute for my housemate and Theakston’s ‘Old Peculier’ for me – a lovely dark beer that I tend to drink when I go to Yorkshire. Also some pasta and ‘I, Daniel Blake’ on DVD as I’ve been meaning to watch it for some time.

I had a friendly if slightly frustrated chat with the checkout machine, not that it understood me obviously. First it needed someone to verify that my bag was indeed a bag, then it was pestering me to place the DVD in the bagging area while the attendant was removing the security box. Then I rode home to watch England get beaten 1-0 by Germany, for once we were a bit unlucky as we played quite well for most of it. 

It was a short ride today, but a necessary one. ‘Keep calm and carry on’ has become a bit cliched over the last few years but today it has a certain resonance.


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