Wednesday, 21 September 2016

It’s like sitting on a razor blade.

Do you commute regularly? To work, or some educational establishment or other? Maybe on a bus or a train - by some means where you can while away your journey watching the sights, sounds and (let’s face it) fairly unusual smells of your fellow humans. You can engage in all sorts of fantasies involving your fellow travelers can’t you?  Wondering what they’d look like naked perhaps, whether they’d cry ‘Again! Again, like a big drill!’ during the throes of passion as you assault them with a toilet brush.

Maybe you wonder what their neck would feel like as you slowly crushed the life from them… Which will totally happen if they don’t stop slurping noisily at that can of ‘Relentless’ that they’re gulping down to try and replace some electrolytes because of the vodka and cocaine binge they had in a hotel room with a selection of down-on-their-luck Eastern European models last night (You’re fantasizing again, I totally didn’t write that bit – You’re an add sort when it comes down to it you know… You need help.)

Anyway, let’s get back to me, because I’m handsome, aspirational and famous and ostensibly, the reason you’re all here. I commute 110 miles every weekday. 55 miles there and 55 miles back.

110 miles a day… That’s 550 miles a week, 2,420(ish) a month. Or 29,040 miles every year (minus things like holidays and stuff, that I get a right potload of because: Senior Manager in my day-job – But let’s forget about them for the moment) – I can’t really complain, all these miles are done in the comfort of the Dandymobile, which Heckmondswyke religiously tops up the Chablis and Merlot tanks of every Sunday evening and makes sure there is Ample Stilton in the glove-box.  For those non-locals, I should explain that Ample Stilton is a specialty of my local fromagerie, it’s like normal Stilton, but formed into a facsimile of the derriere of my old school matron. I’ve no idea how he manages to get it all in the glove-box in one piece… I think he uses both knees and a lubricated spatula – That’s certainly how we used to handle the real thing.

You’d think that everything would be rosy, a daily trek around the country villages of the West Midlands, glass in hand, rivulets of part-masticated cheese dripping from my jowls like slightly moldy glaciers and surrounded by enough hand-finished walnut veneer and paisley headlining to stun a village full of angry Matabele tribesmen.  And it would be, but for two minor points:

1: I’m not 100% sure that Heckmondswyke has actually removed all the marmosets from behind the cheap-seats in the back – I get an occasional bustling noise, which can’t be simply explained away as the May Queen doing a bit of a la carte spring-cleaning.

2: Cyclists…

Now, before things get heated and feaces starts getting thrown (which is a popular traditional pastime in some places you know) let me explain what I don’t mean.  I don’t mean people who ride ‘pushbikes’ well… I do, but not all of them.

I don’t mean ruddy-faced children cycling to school
I don’t mean swarthy farm-workers cycling to a distant barn to feed and fornicate with animals that will eventually become my food and/or shoes.
I don’t mean people whose homes are suddenly in the commuter-belt for Birmingham and who have had to sell their more ‘adult’ forms of transport so that they can afford the massive price-hike in their monthly bills for simply staying in the same place.
I don’t mean a mother cycling to her local shop in a carefree 1940s way with a headscarf, a wicker basket and her heart full of song and anti-depressants.
I don’t mean retired people who cycle because their doctor said that it’s healthy to do so.

This... Exactly this... Terrible.

I mean people who wear lycra so tight that you could explain their manscaping regime to the local police officer who has to ask you where they made you feel uncomfortable. The ones who stand, provocatively on their pedals, lifting their backsides off their razor-thin seats and waving them at you so that you can see how much lower their left testicle hangs than their right.  The ones who, even if they are not riding two-abreast, hold up the traffic going through the idyllic, but venomously twisty, country lanes that the Dandymobile counts amongst her natural hunting grounds.

The ones who work in an office, who have sub-middle aged friends, often called Trevor, or Gavin who don’t need to wear a tie to the office but still do.  The ones whose wife is having an affair with someone who works for her, but they believe it’s perfectly acceptable because it gives them more time to lycra themselves up and meet similarly attired men in the toilets of country pubs before ‘click-clacking’ across the tilework and disappearing for the afternoon and coming back home sweaty and chafed around their nethers.

The ones that even tractors get stuck behind. The ones whose shorts tighten when somebody mentions Sir Bradley Wiggins. The ones who wear black lycra 51 weeks of the year but buy a yellow jersey for Tour de France week because… Well, I don’t exactly know why they do this – If you were to look at their faces if and when you can actually pass them on a long straight, you’d see an expression on their faces that could only be explained by the yellow jersey having some kind of electronic device that stimulates their nipples as they sail along in their own personal peloton. (Which is French for ‘Platoon’. You knew in your heart of hearts it’d be the French’s fault in some way didn’t you?)

Maybe you know someone who does this? Maybe they’ll say that they do it for fitness, or they’ll say that it’s their kind of meditation, their refuge from the pressures of the working week that most people solve with gin and masturbation.

But we know different don’t we children? We know it’s just because they’re strange – And not the ‘good’ kind of strange like the rest of us… They’re the ‘bad’ strange, the kind of strange that causes reporters from local newspapers to start any article about them with a quote from their next-door neighbours that says something like ‘He was a quiet man who kept himself to himself…’ and ends with, ‘He is survived by two ruddy-faced children and his wife, Lavinia, who habitually wears a headscarf – pictured here being consoled by “a friend”’

Don’t pretend you’re a professional competitive cyclist kids… Not even once.

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