Cycling down to the shop the other day, I decided to give way to the monster piece of farming equipment that was breathing fire and diesel fumes on my tail. I’ve no idea what it is – I call them all combine harvesters – but it was barely able to fit in the road (the outer edges of its tyres were on the verges) although I expect down south it would probably be considered some sort of dinky toy – farmers round here must have to buy special mini tractors for our narrow roads. Anyway, I was going downhill, so I thought I’d pull over and let it pass so I didn’t have it growling after me all the way to the shop. Big mistake. It turns out that while I’m slower than most things – tractors, milk floats, bin lorries, postmen – I’m faster than a combine harvester, especially when I’m drafting it. I had to brake on the downhill stretches and was barely pedalling on the uphill ones. Which would be nice, if it wasn’t for the diesel fumes and the fact that I couldn’t see the potholes until I was almost upon them.
It turned out that the Combine Harvester was also popping down to the shop for a twix and some cigs, so I made sure I got out and back on the road sharpish so I didn’t get stuck behind him again. Not the most restful trip down to the shop I’ve had – but it’s nice to know I’m faster than something on the road… I gather in towns these days, cyclists race each other while pretending not to. I suppose this is the closest I’m ever going to get
*Not me personally, obviously