This morning I felt like a literary bowl of petunias.
When I was almost home from swimming, cycling along innocently, the bike suddenly buckled under me and I spent some time falling. It’s strange that falling takes so much time: one can do rather a lot of thinking before one actually crashes. I thought “oh no, not again”, and “perhaps I should stop cycling! but I’m not that old yet” and “did I just have a spot of petit mal?”
Fortunately, I know enough, and the reflexes of my body apparently also know enough, to relax all relevant muscles and subside gracefully into the whatever. The whatever being, equally fortunately, a stretch of thorny hedge or I’d have hit my head against a stone wall, as if I didn’t have a bump on my forehead already from an encounter with the fridge door. I’m only a bit sore, a bruise on my rib from an unyielding handlebar being the worst, but I don’t think that rib is cracked like in my much more spectacular fall in October 2011.
Someone –a friendly youngish man in a car– saw it happen and came to pick me up, asked if I was all right and pushed my bike back into shape. While doing that, he discovered that what had caused my mishap was not age, infirmity or karma, but a length of stiff metal wire stuck between the spokes of the front wheel, probably escaped from the morning’s recycling round and lying in wait to trip hapless cyclists.