A cycling trip down history near the king’s former hunting grounds
Week Monday 24th May — Friday 28th May 2021
Itwas 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).
Flashback: 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.
Abig 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.
Trying 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.
“Filho 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.