… slow bicycling is that the flies find it easier to keep up with you. And if flies are irritating when you’re on foot, they’re absolutely infuriating on a bike. There’s a long, long hill coming back from the paper shop, and I’d pretty much shot my bolt getting out of the saddle to accelerate past a tractor that had kindly stopped to wait for me to go through. So I had reached the stage of just plodding doggedly upwards when the flies gathered. Perhaps it was the sweat, perhaps, like the buzzard, they were too impatient to wait for me to collapse, or perhaps it amuses them to drive cyclists to distraction. Fortunately, once the tractor had gone there was no-one to see me cycling along with my hands whirling madly about my head. I’m beginning to envy the horses their tails – do you think I could fit one on a bike?