No, that title isn’t the zany sequel to Four Weddings and a Funeral, much to my dismay. It’s the first in a summary series in which I describe the peculiar events witnessed from the comfort of a bike seat. I’ve been fortunate enough to begin every day this summer with a bike ride and have seen numerous strange sights on my travels. Here’s my highlights of last week:
On Monday I saw the strangest-looking dog
A throng of dog-walkers greeted me as I turned off a road, down a brook and across a concrete path, swerving past myriad lampposts. They were both big and small: Labradors, Retrievers, Spaniels and Pugs loyally followed their owners. My eyes were drawn to one breed I had never before encountered. It was much, much smaller than the others, but its tail just as lengthy. Its ears were short, its legs stubby, but its body long. Attached to the dog walker by a lead, flowing down to its dark red collar, was a ferret.
Of course, the first thing I did upon arriving home was research this phenomenon. Apparently domesticated ferrets are incredibly popular, despite having been banned in multiple American states, including California.
Nevertheless, I was shocked to my core. Who in their right mind would choose a ferret over a dog? On second thoughts, who would choose any pet over a dog?
Alas, each to their own.
On Tuesday I nearly died
I took the same route as on Monday, hoping to cinch another ferret-sighting, but to no avail. That 15-minute route progresses from a dog-walking path to a main road, which transfers cyclists onto a country lane. It’s perfect for rapidly reaching Mach speed, as you’ll have a good 4 minutes to enjoy the wind through your hair before moving back onto the main road.
This main road is usually a busy route. I’ve seen cyclists wait what felt like hours before moving into the 40-mile-an-hour traffic. On Tuesday, I fulfilled that role. After much waiting, the path forward was finally clear on both sides, and I made a break for it. Unfortunately, the left-hand-side features a blind corner, where cars shoot down
like a speeding bullet. By the time I saw a Citroën heading straight for me, it was almost too late. I slammed on the breaks, stopping dead in my tracks. The car roared past at a rate of knots. The speed limit wasn’t the only thing that driver nearly broke that day. As expected, the driver flipped me off, but I barely noticed. I was just thankful to have emerged unscathed.
If I’ve learned anything from this incident, it’s that you should be aware that a high-powered moving vehicle will be trying to kill you at all times. And, you know, that you should probably be more observant when crossing roads.
On Friday I made a diversion
Occasionally, I have time for a longer bike ride, which is always a welcome change. It’s one of my favourite pastimes, and any additional time spent atop a bike seat is something I look forward to all week.
Friday brought about the promise of a longer bike ride into and around town. All-in-all, the journey takes approximately 40-45 minutes. On the return journey I was forced to divert, or face running into the bonnets of seven ambulances. The fleet was comprised of three regular vans and four cars. Next to them were two police cars, whose officers kept the peace by cordoning-off the area I wish to pass with yellow tape. Behind the police, further down the road, was a single fire engine, with the fire fighters nowhere to be seen.
It was all very official-looking. A Bing search failed to turn up reports related to the incident, and I am – to this day – still intrigued as to what happened on that fateful day.
There are some things we’re destined to never know.