Today’s bike ride wasn’t one of my finest.
It started out well. It was a sunny day but not too hot, I had chosen a route varying between challenging uphill bits and enjoyable downhill stretches and best of all, because most of it would be off road I would have a rare opportunity to cycle while listening to music on my iPod.
Unfortunately I managed to embarrass myself not once, not even twice, but three times and I was only out for an hour.
Embarrassment 1 – While cycling along on a country road I was suddenly aware of a small, yappy dog that came tearing out of a driveway and proceeded to chase me while barking loudly and trying to snap at my ankle! Despite the fact it was undoubtedly small it was very fast, very loud and its mouth was full of sharp little teeth that were intent on catching my ankle.
Unsurprisingly I cycled on at increasing speed in my effort to get away from it but I was also giggling at the ridiculousness of being pursued by such a mini menace. Unfortunately I was also making an involuntary, quite loud ‘eeeee’ noise because I was a bit wary of it actually biting my ankle. This wouldn’t have been so embarrassing had it not been witnessed by a sizeable number of pedestrians as well as a man in a car who, alerted by my piercing ‘eeeee’ and the dog’s high pitched yapping all stopped to watch the events unfold. Fortunately there were no further events to see as I was much faster than the dog and escaped with my ankles intact.
I consoled myself with the thought that I’d never see any of those people again although this was proved to be untrue when, 10 minutes later I reached the point where I turn around and found myself cycling past them all once more. They all watched me cycle past and one man even pointed at me. How very rude!
Embarrassment 2 – Soon after that I reached the off-road track and so was able to listen to music on my headphones. The track was nicely even for quite some time but then suddenly, stretching ahead of me, I saw there was a very steep, rocky hill. As I started up it the song ‘Blaze of Glory’ by Bon Jovi was playing on my iPod.
Listening to a rousing song always helps me to push on up any challenging hills and ‘Blaze of Glory’ was doing just that. Reaching the top after a long, hard slog uphill coincided with the song reaching its chorus. As I crested the top of the hill the moment was Hollywood feel-good-movie perfect.
I went over the top feeling a huge sense of achievement and was compelled to sing loudly along with Jon Bon Jovi as I careered down the other side. I threw my head back and at the top of my voice sang, “I’m going dooooown in a blaaaze of glooooorrry…”. Unfortunately, having pedalled so hard on the way up I was rather breathy on reaching the top and combined with the fact I was speeding down a very bumpy bit of track my voice was not at its best and I think it would be fair to say it wouldn’t have sounded good. I wasn’t content with singing just Jon Bon Jovi’s bit either. No, that would have been far too simple. I sang the harmony on “dooooown” too. One voice seeming as two, admirable I know.
I don’t think my effort was appreciated by the people who I noticed were walking down the hill that I hadn’t noticed before now. They turned round in surprise at the sudden racket, looked decidedly unimpressed with my vocal styling and carried on walking.
Embarrassment 3 – Setting off on my way back home I eventually reached civilisation again and had to turn off my music. I stopped off in a nearby shop to buy a bottle of water and as I waited in the queue I noticed this on the packaging of some biscuits on a display next to the till.
As soon as I saw it I started to giggle but tried to contain my giggling so as not to draw attention to myself. I subtly took out my phone and took a quick photo thinking I could post it on Facebook later to amuse my friends.
Just as I took the picture a voice behind me asked, “What are you taking a photo of?” A woman standing in the queue behind me and a man who was stood with her were both straining their necks trying to see what was of such interest to me, making me giggle. “It says ‘check backside for more fun’!” I confided conspiratorially, allowing them to share in my humorous moment.
I started giggling again until I saw their clearly unamused faces. “Oh,” I said, suddenly feeling quite awkward, my amusement turning into embarrassment. I turned back around and stood in the slowly moving line waiting to be served for what felt like an eternity, all the time feeling their unamused eyes boring into my back, probably wondering how anybody could be so immature.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day and here’s hoping that tomorrow’s bike ride will be slightly less embarrassing!