The one in which we venture into the wilderness.
Today’s cycling plans were revised following the consumption of slightly too much Rioja last night- that and 80 mile an hour gusts of wind. Please rest assured, the two were not related. So instead of cycling off over yonder mountains we decided to have a gentle little potter out to a local beauty spot to drink coffee with our toes in the sea. What we didn’t plan for was the fact that the paved pathway we started out on ran out several kilometres from the beach itself and we had to take a slightly more off-road route across a vast and never ending wilderness that was as far from paved as it is possible to get. After following a goat track for miles with much protesting from Yours Truly it was decided that we should make our way to the road in the distance and take the long route round. The road, however, wasn’t much better than the goat track and being of a slightly nervous disposition and quite fond of my face I decided to take things at a sedate pace. AlphaMale had no such qualms and shot off like a rocket.
Apparently at some point the road split- a fact that completely passed me by as I was intent on watching the ground for every rock and pebble in the way. I carried on rolling carefully along, not able to look up for fear of hitting a pothole and catapulting myself into the back of next week. The only bonus to the road was that it was all downhill and required no actual pedalling effort at all. It wasn’t until I reached the bottom that I actually looked around and realised that AM was nowhere to be seen. I began to contemplate how Moses must have felt standing in the wilderness all alone- except that in this instance there was no sign of divine intervention. Just as I was considering writing SOS in pebbles in the sand and making a distress flag out of my knickers, a dust cloud appeared on the track and my knight in shining armour came rolling into view. I can’t tell you what he said, it wouldn’t be polite, but apparently he’d seen the split in the road and had followed it accordingly and then, having cycled halfway up a hill, he’d looked over his shoulder only to see me rolling merrily off down the hill in the opposite direction.
By this time it was getting on towards lunchtime and the beach plan was vetoed. AM suggested that cycling all the way back up the hill would be way too much effort and that we should take a slightly more direct route home. This turned out to involve mountaineering whilst pushing a bike- something I do not recommend you try. The average mountain goat would have thought twice about crossing such terrain, let alone a goat with a bike. Feeling a bit like Laurence of Arabia I started to hallucinate about cold beers and palm trees and began to wonder if a ride over the mountains on nice smooth Tarmac wouldn’t have been the better option. I was just beginning to despair of ever reaching civilisation when we stumbled upon the edge of the desert and the oasis loomed into view- the interminable rubble ended and terra firma was once more under our feet. We limped back into civilisation, stopping for a fortifying coffee at a cafe we had passed some two hours previously, looking like nomads who’d just wandered in from the Sahara; all that was missing were a couple of camels.
It’s highly likely that next time AlphaMale suggests a bike ride I might just take a camel instead of a bike.