I wear my helmet all the time now. This is a recent and deeply uncool decision that I have made, mostly related to what would have been the helmetless death of an amateur track rider of whom I am podcastly aware. Tim Jackson, he got all fucked up. I’m not sure how many bones he broke in what appears to have been a relatively innocuous, if high speed, collision, but the closest estimate seems to be fucking all of them. There is little doubt in my mind that without his helmet his brain would have been so much Heinz spaghetti hoops on soggy white toast. And so I’ve been donning my prophylactic ponce hat. I realise that this fucks with your hardened image of Gimme as the death-defying daredevil of Dublin City, but folks, I ain’t going out like that. I am determined that all this cooking, cleaning and ass-wiping is going to be paid back in my doddery, drooling and hopefully drug-addicted old age.
And yet, and fucking yet.
I haven’t written about my new bicycle yet. Yes, I have a new bicycle. Baby makes three. I don’t want to sully her, you see, taint her with lurid bleughy descriptions of her svelte frame, her curvaceous bars, her sexy, sexy brakelessness. I’ll be brief. She be light, she be quick, she be mostly fixed. And Manuel sweetie, just for you, she be Kona.
And today, approaching Fairview, (why is it always Fairview? What the fuck is it about Fairview that My Death loves so very fucking much?) me and my newest love get clipped by a car cunt. 04, I notice, gold, long and in a big fucking hurry to get to the next red light. I wobble, balance but most essentially, keep pedalling. (One is obliged to keep pedalling on a fixed gear bike or one is in danger of breaking one’s fucking face.) At this point the thing to do, the path to take, is one of restraint and forbearance. A deep breath and a realisation that there is nothing to be gained by confrontation for the sake of confrontation. And so I steady myself, speed up and catch this car. Still slowly turning over, I unleash my standard obscene invective.
The car window thrums down and I am faced with the ugliest, dirtiest, scumbaggiest little fat cunt on the road. He returns the invective. He threatens to run me down. We’re parallel but he attempts to swerve into me anyway. And then he spits. He is not a good spitter. His salvia makes it as far as the passenger seat. ‘Classy, dude.’ I giggle. Scumbags hate being called ‘dude’. He goes purple. I smile. I take off. And the fucker chases me.
This is one insane out of control troglodyte that I’m dealing with here. The red mist is down. He’s doing fight and unencased as I am in metal, I’m doing flight. The traffic is heavy enough to give me an advantage, but I still have to take risks. I have to go very, very fast. I have to weave. I find myself in the middle of the road with no clear path to the far bike line in sight. I glance quickly over my shoulder. Goldie has managed to pull into my lane and is rapidly reducing my advantage. Perhaps he just wants to scare me. If so, mission fucking accomplished. But I truly believe that he has lost it and that he means to hit me. He’s closing. I’m doing about 40k but he’s closing. His engine roars.
I see a disgustingly dangerous gap in the oncoming traffic. Split second decision. I take the gap. Horns. Brakes. I make it. My would be murderer flies past. He would have hit me, I see now. He had given himself no option.
One part of me wants to start carrying a brick so that, with a pre-planned escape route, I can calmly take out the rear window of these cunts that would clip me.. That would slow me down, though. I hate being slow.
The other part of me points out that there’s no fucking point wearing a helmet if I’m going to insist on putting myself in these situations.