Another Tale from the Tunnel

It’s fair to say that cyclists annoy the vast majority of drivers. I know. I have spoken to my colleagues about this and if you took them at face value, it seems that many seemingly mild mannered people would, when behind a wheel, take a side-swipe at a cyclist they are passing.

But what you may not realise if you are solely a driver, is that some things annoy cyclist. Yes. Cyclists have feelings too.

On my commute, which is mainly down the Worcester and Birmingham Canal towpath, the main thing that annoys cyclists is other cyclists on electric bikes.

They whizz up and down that towpath, hurtling along at breakneck speeds, often overtaking other cyclists without even peddling. Most frustrating.

Now, I am a reasonably rapid cyclist myself and my commute is short enough not stretch my waning stamina. I have even been known to overtake an electric cyclist. OK. I did it once. And there was a favourable wind behind me.

One day I was cycling up to the Edgbaston Tunnel, of which I have previously spoken and used as a metaphor for life, and I could the hear the inexorable sound of an electric bike behind me. There was a slight, almost inaudible whine and what’s more the sound of someone breathing hard – I think they wanted to overtake me before I got to the tunnel.

So obviously, being a vaguely competitive sort, the challenge was on. I pushed a bit harder and made it to the tunnel first. There is only the width for one person at a time in the tunnel.

The Edgbaston Tunnel (again). The site of an electric cyclist’s doom…

It was at this point that I heard the sudden sound of metal upon metal and some loud expletives. “F***!” echoed down the tunnel to me, where, like a proper hero, I cycled on away from the explosion without even flinching.

I can only presume that the electric cyclist misjudged the entrance to the tunnel and clanged their overly-large handlebars into the metal railing. Still, at least this saved a ducking in the canal.

I’m sure there’s a metaphor for life, or education, that I should draw out from this, but I can’t think what it is, so I’ll just leave it as a funny story on my blog.

#28daysofwriting Day 16