I didn't expect to be writing another post so soon, but something just struck me as I sat having the aforementioned pint(s) of Abbot at my local.
Having been for a very satisfying bike ride, and then just enjoying the feeling of a couple of drinks, I pictured myself back on the bike. Suddenly, thanks to a relative sense of distance from my earlier exertions, the whole concept of cycling struck me as utterly bizarre: sitting - balancing - on a metal frame with wheels and expending a hell of a lot of effort and energy whilst moving at some speed. Now part of this weirdness is the sheer physics of the situation - which I shan't go into since I don't have the mastery of the language required - but that weirdness is very much there, and seems to create a sense of precariousness to say the least.
The other aspect of it is that of the seemingly total lunacy of braving, over the course of a couple of hours, elderly drivers who don't see you as they pull out of parking spaces; idiots on mobile phones who will cut across junctions on the wrong side of the road; people of any given age who will happily pull out of a junction not expecting you to be so close since you're on a bike and are surely going so much slower than anything else that moves; people who think that around 40cm is sufficient space to give you as they overtake.
I could list many more. Such as the twat who trailed behind me for a mile or so on a straight road, where it was safe to pass me at any point, but who then decided to overtake only when I signalled to turn right.
Averaged out, I've been out on a bike ride for between 90 minutes and 2 hours, at least once a week so far this year. Given the sheer hazards as outlined above, you'd have thought I'd have packed it in by now; either that or I'd have been killed or severely maimed at least.
Then I weigh that up against the enjoyment and fulfilment I get from it (including shouting expletives at the types just described), and I can't see me stopping any time soon.
Odd, isn't it?