Author Topic: A ride to remember


A ride to remember
« on: July 25, 2012 »
Ride reports are like baby pictures: you've proved you can make one, but can you make one that's interesting? Here are some tips.

Make stuff up
Works best with solo efforts, but still doable with group rides after deciding which direction to take. Concoct a meticulously planned fantasy with everybody on the same page, or stay flexible and improvise? ("I was ahead of you, so you may be right. That scream I heard could have been that otherwise quiet guy, who nobody seemed to know, falling off the cliff. When you said we dropped him I didn't think to take you seriously.") Memory is notoriously fallible, as any policeman taking statements will verify.

If you feel troubled by outright fabrication, find your comfort level:
a) I drew that picture, or could've
b) I commissioned an artist, feeling that the expense of illustrating this post was worth it
c) I found a gif after an image search of far less than a minute, and hope that whoever created it will forgive me for the appropriation

Where nature doesn't provide, software can, and should, step in. A listless off-white sky is not an option. Choose an extreme and run with it.

If you find writing tedious, words a letdown after actions, have your account ghostwritten. It shouldn't be hard to find a volunteer. The web is full of people with too much time on their hands, willing to work for likes or smileys.

Secure in the knowledge that many professional writers and almost all reporters use this productivity boost, think of it as sharing the commonality of literature. Concentrate on nouns. If you choose wisely you shouldn't have to sweat the verbs. Or maybe it's the other way around.

Write, Revise. Repeat.
Only as a last resort.


Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014 »


Another year of the bike
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2014 »


What I did over the bank holiday
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015 »
Wow, what a trip. They promised me the moon – actually, Mars – and they delivered. A week mountain biking on the great singletrack of the red planet. I wanted the standard package, but they talked me into an upgrade, said I'd never forget it. It's in their contract: memory implants are guaranteed for the life of the brain.

Orientation was a bit rough, I sure don't look very happy! (I don't look like that at all. Total Recall offers Total Facelift for all holiday snaps.) But I don't remember a thing about that part, as promised.

My first view of the terrain. Soon I'd be at the top of that that mountain on my 29er.

My guide. I know he's not much to look at, but he sure knew his stuff. First lesson on Mars: it's not about the bike. It's about the oxygen.

They threw an episode of witnessing a horrific accident into the package to give the experience an edge. Always wear your helmet, people!

My other guide. Didn't tell the wife about this. [Discretion also guaranteed.]

The upgrade involved a complicated espionage plot. At one point I smuggled myself past a checkpoint as a woman – my tranny friend Malvern will be so jealous when s/he sees this.

The great thing about holidays is they take you out of your routine. You get the opportunity to meet all kinds of different people. This guy had a dominating parasitical dwarf growing out of his abdomen. Would've been OK if it looked like Peter Dinklage, but as you can see, no such luck. I played it cool, like I chatted with belly dwarfs all time.

Getting a top-up near the end. It was a bunch of ads and trailers for other holiday destinations. I hate to think I'm that suggestible, but I now have an urge to go to the Bridge of Dreams and ride with the Stone Men.


Christmas actually
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2016 »
Got one of those 'Experience Days' for Chrimbo. You know, Dinner for two at a fancy restaurant, Bungee jump into a mud bath, Patrol with The Bill, etc. Mine was Santa for a day. Only they hadn't sprung for the full sleigh experience. It was literally "get on your bike."

Fair enough, I thought. We're all feeling the pinch these days. So I joined the other budget Kringles for a festive spin. We had to provide our own presents – nobody likes an empty-handed Santa. I filled my bag at Poundland so as not to disappoint the kiddies.

Everyone wanted pictures, of course. A heartwarmer for the hearth. There wasn't anything in the rules about not charging, so I managed to just about break even.

Spent a nice afternoon cheering everybody up and ho-ho-hoing through red lights. Who's gonna give Santa a hard time?

Unfortunately we ran into a group of community support officers also out on an Experience Day: theirs included a chance to kettle protesters. As pickets were a bit thin on the ground, they settled for us, and would not be bribed by my shopworn Toblerone, despite its potential resale value. I only escaped by promising one of them a Primark gift certificate.

Got home in time to catch Love Actually, which I love to hate actually,

except for Bill Nighy. Threw the suit in the wash. I don't think that Toblerone is coming out.


« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2019 »
or, Writer's Block

The result of GoOgling "porn" with SafeSearch turned on

Willowy Winifred (she/her/hot) – Willow to her many friends, because of her extreme litheness and suppleness – had a problem. She had a nasty old puncture, and no tools to repair it. She'd been on her way to her new job as a hand model when her previously trustworthy Harvey Wallbanger (her jokey name for the Il Pompino, a gift from an ex who had been a bartender) let her down. Now she’d be late for orientation! Just her luck it had happened in an unfamiliar part of town. And it was starting to rain. What on earth was a girl to do?

‘Hard’ Hank (he/him/horny) was just finishing the late shift at the gym. There was no official late shift, but a valued client, a divorcee in dire need, so she claimed, of firming up as she prepared to re-enter the dating scene, had paid him for his expertise. This he had been happy to provide all. Night. Long.

As Hank locked up and prepared to mount his sturdy utility bike for the wet ride home, he noticed a woman pushing her bike past the gym. She was tall and, well, willowy. Her dirty blonde hair was just starting to plaster itself against her rosy cheeks.

He ambled over and noticed the flat tyre. She gazed at him, hunger in her eyes (she had missed breakfast in her rush out the door this morning), clearly a damsel in distress. Thanks to the light but persistent drizzle, he also observed that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

“Can I help you, miss?” he asked in all decorum, feeling that a bit of retro in the morning would put her at her ease. Having read his share of choose your own adventure books as a lad, he was primed for action. Any action.

“Yes you can!” she blurted out, abandoning her usual flirty innocence and not a little embarrassed by her urgent desire for assistance from a total stranger. It was obvious what must happen next.

He mended her puncture, she thanked him sincerely, and they both continued on their way.


First draft
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019 »

You like old typewriters? I got more.

Keeping it real
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2020 »
Earth was off the beaten track, but we decided to give it a go. It’s an inhabited planet, which makes things more interesting – though not too interesting from their point of view, thanks to the SMIDSY tech which we invented but the grumpy Predators get all the credit for.

Fortunately we didn’t burn up on entry through the atmosphere, as happened last year to some friends who, to compound their misfortune, neglected to buy travel insurance.

Upon landing I had a nice conversation with these big placid creatures who agreed to keep an eye on the capsule in exchange for weaponry which should change the balance of power in their relations with their captors, and off we went. (Our bikes fold incredibly small. So do we, for that matter. Comes in handy, even in a universe so big.)

It was good to have a spin to work the kinks out after all those light years. On the trip over we’d listened to the BBC to pass the time. Your Brexit sounds like what happened to a planet near the buckle in Orion’s Belt when its citizenry decided they wanted out of the Federation, primarily because as an aquatic species they’re more or less the fish the others wanted rights to.

That’s right, there’s a real Federation. What a coincidence! It’s not much like the one on your Star Trek, though I do know a seven of nine: my ex, as it happens. She also has a fine, graceful and very nuzzleable neck. I took a snapshot of someone we passed, to show her for a laugh. After hitting send I realised it would probably get her ears twitching in jealousy, which honestly wasn’t my intention.

You humans are not an unattractive species, if a bit samey. My immediate family would make the Tatooine bar look insular. And sexes! You stop counting after a while. It keeps things lively. Nothing wrong with two. I guess it comes down to what you’re used to.

I loitered at a garden party, tearing up to see the spitting image of my dear departed mum.

The BBC had also talked about Covid. We’ve got that too. I don’t want to alarm anybody, but it eventually changes your DNA in ways you might not personally find pleasing, including an extra set of genitals randomly placed. So wear your masks, people. Or not.

We had a bite to eat at a gypsum mine (I believe you’d call it a cake stop), wandered the lanes till we were pleasantly exhausted, sourced a carton of freshly laid dilithium for a very reasonable price on the side of the road, squared things with the cows (good luck with that), then beamed up to our mothership, the capsule having been a retro touch to keep it real. I’ll be leaving a fair TripAdvisor review.

Won't get fooled again
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2022 »
I have on occasion posted about my relationship with Roger Daltrey, who lives close enough to me to easily make it happen. We've yet to meet in person, but it always seemed destined to be.

While cycling by his humble abode

early this morning I noticed the man himself wrestling a vintage pinball machine to the kerb. I stopped to chat, nonchalant as you like.

"I didn't know the council did pickups of stuff like this," I said.

"You're not Roger Daltrey," he replied. (I later learned that the council does 'bulky waste collection' for any Tom Dick and Roger with cash.)

He turned away, then seemed to think better of it. "I'm sorry, I don't know what got into me," he said, extending his hand.

I shook it firmly yet sympathetically and told him not to worry about it, there must be nothing more annoying than being well known.

"You don't know the half of it," he sighed. "Sometimes I wish I could just be normal people. Like you, on your bike there."

"I've got a spare, why not give it a try?" I suggested.

His eyes widened. "Really? Do you mean it?"

Of course I meant it. He gave me a lift in his Land Rover to pick it up. Being the polite sort I offered him his pick of Litespeed or Langster.

"Which is more plebeian?" he asked in all seriousness. I rolled my eyes and gave him the Litespeed anyway.

Just then Robert Smith, of The Cure of course, rolled up on his tandem. Smith lives literally around the corner from Roger, but this still seemed like more than a coincidence.

"OK, I'll admit I was keeping an eye on you with my telescope," he said. "I should really get out more." He didn't explain why he was riding alone on a tandem, and we didn't ask.

We three headed over to Heathfield, where we bumped into Jayne Torvill

She's always hanging about on the High Street

as she was leaving the health food shop empty handed. "I can't believe they were out of tofu," she was muttering.

Her eyes lit up when she saw the tandem. "I haven't been on one of those in ages!" she practically squealed, inviting herself. This time it was Robert Smith's turn to sigh.

A car went by blaring music. "People have no consideration," Roger scowled, turning down his hearing aid.

We all headed down the Cuckoo Trail and had a fine old time, but I promised not to write about that to give them some privacy.