The Mountain Biker
You find a nice sheltered spot out of the wind and settle down to look back with satisfaction at the country that you have covered. It’s been tough going to get up here – steep, slippery and sometimes pathless, but all that’s forgotten as you relax and admire the view with cloud shadows scudding across the crisply lit landscape far below.
A strange, hunched figure with a peculiar gait staggers into view. As he slowly draws closer it becomes apparent that he is not really dressed for hillwalking. In fact he seems to have got dressed in the dark. The style, lurid colours and most of all the diminutive size and tightness of his attire all point to an inadvertent raid on his ten year old daughter’s ballet wardrobe.
His tights reach only to mid-calf. A bright girly pink spandex top strains to contain a resolutely masculine belly. He is wearing a pair of orange shoes secured with Velcro straps instead of laces, which match an elaborately sculpted plastic crown on his head. But most remarkable of all is the reason for his crab like progress.
He is carrying a bicycle.
And he has carried it up the same treacherous heathery hillside that has left you gasping for breath. You gaze at him in wonderment – the chief part of your wonder being, “Why?”
He doesn’t notice you as he trudges past, eyes down and breathing heavily; a nylon bag clatters as it bounces on his back. It seems to be full of Tupperware. Oh well, you think – takes all sorts I suppose – and you resume your now pleasant ascent to a perfect perch overlooking the lesser hills, and reward yourself with a fine lunch and a celebratory slug of Ardbeg before taking the long rocky path back.
You hear him microseconds before you see him, his approach heralded by the squeal of disc brakes and a clatter of loose gravel. The tubby middle aged man dressed as a pre-pubescent ballerina has been transformed.
He is now Robocop on wheels as he hurtles straight at you at forty miles per hour. Wearing more armour than a mediaeval knight he has become a crazed carbon fibre clad robot seemingly intent on your destruction. Spittle and sweat stream across his cheeks in the slipstream. The setting sun blazes from wraparound mirrored glasses and glints on gritted teeth.
“Loooookooouttheeeeeremaaate!” cries a panicking voice, forcing you to leap aside and sprawl into the only truly boggy bit for miles. Clearly a bell is not considered essential equipment by this knight of the hills.
And he is gone. You listen hopefully for a crash of metal and a cry of anguish, but disappointingly you spot him a few minutes later pedalling along the track that leads to the car park. Dark thoughts of walking poles and spokes evaporate as you observe the back of the pretty pink top and purple tights - plastered with mud from top to bum.
His daughter will be very upset when he gets home.
Labels: Cycling, Outdoor Stereotypes