I don’t quite know what was going on with my head this morning. I think I woke up too early, and then started to go back to sleep just as 6:15 came around and the part of my brain that both always knows what time it is and cares about whether I should get up or not* rudely jerked me awake. Although, and I don’t know about you lot, but when I’ve had to get up in these circumstances, ‘awake’ is too strong a word. ‘Upright’ probably puts it better. Should any clever scientists manage to look inside my brain, they’d probably see nothing but a blue screen and the instruction ‘press ctrl-alt-delete to continue’. One shower later, I had booted up into the mental equivalent of ‘safe mode’ and was able to manage one simple thought at a time (sock. on foot. Other sock. on other foot.). Dazedly, having dressed and gathered my stuff, I set off on my bike.
So here’s the thing. Normally even the short ride to Vauxhall is something I need to be fully alert for. Pedestrians, cars, other cyclists, plumber’s vans, pigeons – every single one of them is apparently out to get the lone cyclist and can be relied upon to do anything at any time. Generally, despite maintaining a heightened state of zen alertness, I still manage to be surprised and occasionally endangered every single trip. Yet this morning, when the only coherent thought I could manage to muster was ‘I wonder what it is I’ve forgotten?’**, for the first time ever, every other road user INCLUDING the plumber’s vans, gave me plenty of space, even overtaking at a respectful distance. Perhaps it’s true that the cars really do leave more room for wobbly looking cyclists. If you really want to be safe on your bike, never mind wearing a helmet, don’t even bother to wear your brain…
*No, I have no idea, and I’m not sure I want it either. I’d happily swap it for a sense of direction, or maybe the ability to think about what I’m going to say before I open my mouth. Any offers?
**My bike lock, as it happens.