…I want to ride my bicycle…
David Slack has a post here which includes a note about cycling to school on country roads.
I did the cycle thing at school on country roads too: there were about a dozen of us, at one point, who cycled to our school bus stop. We’d leave the bikes in a bus-stop shed put up by our dads.
The real tussle was over who would be the last to put their bike into the shed. We’d all cycle around and around on the road until the bus came. Even if it was pouring with rain. This was because last in meant first out at the end of the day and you got a head start in the race home. This was really important for reasons I can no longer recall. I think it was just general competitiveness.
The inevitable day came when two cycliests – myself and one of the neighbouring kids – were still cycling around the stopped bus. Eyeballing each other furiously and refusing to be the first to put the bike away.
Bus driver got fed up and took off. We ended up cycling to school, which was how we discovered it could be done and wasn’t so far after all.
Best school cycling incident: a mate of mine was cycling home and his bag fell off the back of his bike. He pulled off the road and braked, just as a school bus came along and drove over the bag.
Now, the driver had seen the bag and swerved, so he didn’t hit it with his wheels. Mike – my mate – sighs with relief. Unfortunately the bag handle caught on something under the bus so when the bus goes past Mike looks and the bag ain’t there. Says a rude word, hops on the bike and pedals furiously after the bus.
He almost caught it at the first stop but the bus pulled away. The kids on the bus are cheering him on furiously, but making sure the bus driver doesn’t cotton on. The driver, meanwhile, is wondering why this lunatic kid is chasing him.
This went on for about 10miles when a cousin of Mike’s took pity and got the driver to stop, over the other side of a fairly large hill. Mike comes panting over the hill, the bus has pulled over and the driver has hooked the bag out.
Or what’s left of it. Mike hauls up and stops, panting, sweat-covered and exhausted. The bus driver hands him the tattered remnants of the bag.
Mike still doesn’t think this is a funny story, which is why I haven’t used his real name.