Day Forty Seven: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

Some years ago a friend of mine invited me to join him at a party in the countryside. A group of his mates were having a BBQ booze up.  It was in deepest darkest Dorset, in England. It was also located in prime mountain biking territory so we loaded our bikes into the back of his old VW Passat.

His car had more miles on the clock than the Star Ship Enterprise, the Millenium Falcon and all of the taxis in New York, London and Bangladesh put together. It had never been serviced. It was white with patches of rust but apparently it had character.

We were driving down the motorway when ‘Mr. my car is fine it has character’ said the steering felt weird.  He turned the steering wheel a good third of the way round and the car did not alter course.

“A bit of play in it then fella?”, I said.

I thought we were going to die and cause a horrendous pile up in the process.

A few minutes later on he complained that he was losing power.  We had left the motorway and were on a minor road, just about to crest a hill, when the engine died.  We pulled over.  Smoke was pouring out of the engine bay.

Its a bit hot”, he said.

It’s single-handedly causing global warming”, I replied.

My buddy decided to light up a ‘happy’ cigarette and wait for the engine to cool down.  He then attempted to leap over a small fence into a field but caught his arm on a loose piece of barbed wire, which ripped open his forearm.  He decided to give his happy cigarette a miss. Blood gushed out of his wound. Steam was still spewing out of the car. We sat on the verge and waited whilst he bled and the car steamed away.

When his arm had stopped bleeding the car started.  We drove about a kilometre down the hill when suddenly the entire vehicle began bouncing up and down.  The engine was in a series of death throws.  We swung over to the side of the road, opened the doors and stepped out.  It was quiet.  The only interruption to the peace was the sound of a lady trimming a hedge by the side of the road.  We looked back up the road.  There was a trail of green liquid leading back up the hill. Small pieces of metal littered the road. Not great then.

Out of nowhere a man appeared.  He wore a pair of ancient overalls, had a weird hairstyle and was strikingly tall. He looked like Max Headroom without the suit. He was in fact the owner of a garage located around the corner.  He was the only mechanic in the sleepy little village.  Max Headroom had a look inside the engine bay.

Guys, its knackered”. He said, without stuttering once.

We haggled over the scrap value price for the car and took forty pounds off him for his trouble and began a thirty kilometre bike ride to find the party.

It was one of the most enjoyable bike rides I have ever done.  I think it was the joy of leaving that smoking wreck of a car behind and of feeling free, being under my own steam and on my bike.  It was sheer bliss.
It is so easy to get caught up in a routine when training on your bike that often you forget just how very clever the bicycle is.  I am told it is the only invention that man has created that has not been used to kill someone with. That got me thinking of course about universal remote controls, clothes horses, hair dryers and the electric pepper grinder and how they may have been used to kill.

The next time you are out on a ride have a look around you when you are miles away from home in the middle of nowhere and thank that bike of yours.  It is a pretty cool machine and on the whole, is far more reliable than an old VW, even one with character.

I leave you with Max Headroom, courtesy of YouTube.  A classic bit of 80’s nostalgia.  I think I may put it onto my iPod tomorrow for my run. My cold should be gone by then and normal training shall resume 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. Sorry for being OT – what WordPress template do you use? It’s looking stunning!!

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