Monday 11 October 2021

Diary of a Cycling Instructor (Week 24th May — 28th May 2021)


A cycling trip down history near the king’s former hunting grounds

Week Monday 24th May — Friday 28th May 2021

was an on-off, sudden-shower, sun-bursting type of morning ride today. On arriving at the school where I was working today I was greeted by a row of bicycles left outside. It never ceases to amaze me that children who leave their bicycles out when it’s raining are more concerned about wet seats than soaked helmets (also left outside).

lashback: walking down a corridor I spotted a sign on one of the school’s display boards. It read “Together Everyone Achieves More” (TEAM). I still remember when that used to be the go-to motto for every community and voluntary group’s workshop or event.

big thank you to the brother who gave me the thumb-up (just the one, mind, he kept his other hand on the wheel) on a miserable-looking, grey morning as I went up Cannon Hill. You made my day.

rying to explain to a group of Year 6es the better way to control your bicycle whilst riding slowly is futile if you do the explaining in the vicinity of a Year 1 class playing outside. The little ones will always drown your voice out. And very welcome they are to do it every time.

ilho da puta!” The words pierced the rain-soaked air on Green Lanes. A car had pulled out of Effingham Road without checking and had just missed a scooter. Scooter Man had made his feelings clear by calling the driver a son of a bitch. I caught up with Scooter Man at the traffic lights on St Ann’s Road. What a son of a bitch! I said, hinting that I’d understood the phrase he’d just used. In my country, he replied, I punch him. Here, in UK, no, but in my country… and he mimicked decking someone. Where are you from? I asked him, knowing beforehand that he’d name a Portuguese-speaking country. Portugal, but I lived in Brazil.

The lights changed and he sped off, leaving behind a trail of Portuguese swear words on a London road.


  1. That TEAM acronym is new to me. Exuberant children can certainly be loud!

  2. loved these little diary entries.
    you meet all sorts on the roads, the polite ones and the savages. :)

  3. Love that acronym which I also hadn't come across before.
    Smiling at your interaction with frustrated Scooter Man.

  4. It's interesting that he won't punch someone in London but would do so in Portugal (or Brazil?). I wonder why that is? Does he think the law would back him up there, but it wouldn't here?

  5. Your diary, CiL, offers excellent illustrations of why I prefer to do my "roadwork" in a Chevrolet Suburban and/or a Mustang GT 5.0 = safer and/or faster. Sort of kidding. "Minnesnowta" is becoming a bit of a "mecca" for bikers and hikers.

  6. Hi ACIL - I've come across the acronym so it was interesting to read it in context at the school gate, so to speak. You certainly keep engaged with the world around you ... and keep up to date with all things appropriate to life. Cheers Hilary

  7. Enjoyable slice of life thank you very much friend

  8. Must not be fun to ride in the rain.

  9. I dont have a car and i dont have a bike Very happy going on my feet :)))

    Love the black and white picture but had to think who was that king?

    Happy days to you and girlfriend

  10. Thank you all for your kind comments.

    Sorry, I should have specified. The king the sub refers to is Henry VIII. His hunting grounds covered a large portion of what is Enfield today.

    Greetings from London.

  11. Excellent read. I love these brief, but meaningful descriptions of life on the road.

  12. En Sevilla, ciudad llana, con más de trescientos días soleados al año, la bicicleta se ha convertido en el vehículo más utilizado de la ciudad y su entorno, por lo que las incidencias es inevitable que no se produzcan, y aunque salvo en raras ocasiones, no suelen perder la compostura las personas implicadas, como ha sucedido en el caso que nos cuentas, del que pienso, que esa actitud ha sido algo excepcional y que se ha quedado en una simple anécdota.
    Me ha gustado mucho tu relato.



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