Monday, 22 June 2009

Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride


Sunday was Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride, and it's become something of a tradition for Katie and me; we've been doing it ever since she was riding behind me on a trailer bike. So we joined in yet again, riding the Avon Loop, which goes down the Portway, the main road down the Avon Gorge, closed to other traffic for the day so that it is unusually peaceful- just the ticking of bicycle gears and the occasional tinkling of bells; then over the Avonmouth motorway bridge, and back up the cycle path along the bank of the Avon, and so to the city centre again.


As you can see from this picture of a bottleneck at Pill, a small port on the Somerset bank, there were thousands of people. There was also a pub open next to this patch of green, and our friends Mal and Adrian. So we stopped for lunch. The Sally Army came along and started playing, so Mal and I joined in with the singing. I was fortunate, though I didn't think so at the time, in that my school had dumped their old A&M style hymn book and replaced them with a 'happy clappy' one in 1971; we were very 'with it' in the Valleys; and so I knew the words to Give me joy in my heart, make me happy, though in my head I still hear it in a Valleys accent.... sing 'osannah, sing 'osannah, sing 'osannah to the king of kings....

Katie looked as though she wished that the ground would swallow her up...



Well, it was good being part of a little 'world turned upside down' event, especially seeing an apoplectic motorist in a Big Car trying to force his way against the flow of thousands of bicycles, presumably to prove a point, while shaking his head in theatrical disbelief- "I'm a motorist, so I take precedence". Duh. But I'm not entirely sure that cycling is as morally-improving as I might have hoped; there was some quite selfish riding (stupid overtaking and cutting-in) going on. It wasn't supposed to be a race, dumbfucks.

Home again, achy and tired. I think it was the constant stopping and starting and dodging other people that was the tiring part. We don't usually do group things. Not sure I want to again. I'm pining for the mountains...