a bump

Following another Saturday afternoon spanking, although my personal performance hadn’t been as abject as the week previous, we visited a local pub screening the Tottenham game.  Here we witnessed another limp, dismal performance not unlike our own, where our heady top four aspirations were dealt another blow by defeat from the league’s bottom side.

With a weary feeling of all round Saturday defeat I embarked on the short cycle back. There’s a large, traffic light directed crossroads at one point, just before the river.  I needed a right turn, across traffic, as opposed to the easy left.  This evening, with my cycle lights flashing, the traffic lights changed and I cruised through without needing to stop.  Traffic queues left and right halted.  Opposite were three cars wanting to turn left into the same road.  One turned, I thought I could nip quickly before the next and up onto the cycle path.  Surely.  The following car would slow to let me, I only needed a small gap, I’d indicated my intent and was moving assertively across its path.  Surely, it had seen me, surely it would slow.  Crump, went the bumper against my bicycle frame, then my calf.  Was this it?  I thought, at that split second, judging the pace that the opposing vehicle’s bumper had been travelling.  Was this the moment I would be splayed across asphalt?  The time when I’d regret never wearing a helmet?  But I wasn’t going flying.  The car hadn’t been travelling that fast.  It had only just started.  My cycle had taken the impact and was toppling under me.  I let it go and hurdled the falling frame.  No tyres screeching, no horns.  Just that crump.  It was all peculiarly sedate.  I picked it up quickly and lifted it to the safety of the pavement.  The offending car hadn’t moved.  I’d given it a thumbs up and waved it on, over my shoulder, not looking at its occupants for fear of confrontation.  I didn’t want confrontation.  I was just grateful, relieved, slightly confused.  A kindly looking grey haired man leaned out the passenger window.  I unpopped an earphone from my blithely playing music.  “Are you alright?” he asked.  Yes, I’m fine, I replied.  “You’re sure?”  Yes, I replied, go.  Still no horns or impatience from the car behind him.  He went.  I felt the eyeballs of the waiting traffic in the adjacent queue, but never looked.  My left pedal was a little crooked, my right calf tingled bearably.  I cycled on, wondering if I should’ve been angry rather than quite so numb, yet not knowing how responsible or to blame I was.  I imagined my relief should be combined with a deep gratitude to something or someone.  Who knows what could’ve.. 

Under thirty seconds was all it had taken.

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