Smoker’s expletives

I tell you this little story as an example of the divide between two worlds.

Rain_drops_on_window_02_iesThis morning I headed off on the bike ‘midst the ever increasing threat of rain……not just rain, but very heavy rain. I knew the forecast…..I knew what to expect….and sadly, the meteorologists got it absolutely right…..d**n them (only metaphorically, of course).

20 miles later I arrived at a delightful country bistro cafe, in Grafton Underwood, which had only opened its doors in the last few months. After an entertaining hour spent with fellow cyclists, and a pot of tea and pain au raisin consumed, I headed north, wind behind, in the direction of Fotheringay (by now, the rain had actually stopped, and the sun was beginning to show its face). By the time I turned back into the wind, I realised I needed more sustenance to get me home (it was 1pm and I had another 25m to go).

There was a convenient ‘greasy spoon’ (aka. trucker’s cafe) at Warmington so, for £2.90 I splashed out on a bacon

and egg bap and a (free) glass of water. As I headed out of the door to do battle with the wind, there was a young manstock-footage-rainbow-winter-wheat-in-spring-gale-hd having his cigarette break and studying my bike intently. He pointed to the lock on the bike and said “Is that where you put the petrol?”. I could see I had the company of a joker.

“How many miles d’you do, then?” he asked. “Oh, somewhere between 25 and 100, depending on weather and time” I replied. “B***er me” he said, as he took another heave on his cigarette. “Is that in a week?” he asked. “No”, I said “that’s in a day”. “So what’re yuh going to do today, then?”. I said “Something like 50-60 miles”.  “F*****g h**l! I gorra a bike, but I can’t do more than 4 miles a year on it…….”. With that, he took a last heave on the dwindling butt end, flicked it into the car park, and went back into the cafe to make more bacon baps for his customers.

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 28, 2014, in Cycling UK and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’m impressed with 50-60 miles a day, Frank, and that without ever having been a smoker.

    Bright sun, 29 deg in Sydney today. It’s a running day, not a riding one. 10km I hope.


  2. For me, Richard, running 10km is far more impressive than cycling 100km. And in 29c of heat…….


  3. My knees hurt at the thought. Of the run, not the bike ride….

    Amazing how far removed from the civilians club cyclists actually are when we mention our distances.


  4. That’s right Kevin…….Being retired, all my cycling is now fitness/leisure cycling, and I generally won’t get on the bike for anything under 25 miles. But even that’s beyond the imagination of the average human being.


  5. Loved the conversation with the “other side” of the divide.
    I’m happy if I manage to get in one bike ride a week, generally about 35 km.


  6. Good to hear you do, Heather. What you do once a week is more than 5 times what the smoker does in a year!


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