Monday, 30 April 2012
There's a flood on my most regular route - I know because I rode through it this morning. It's not one of those massive floods that you see on TV, There are no people sitting on top of houses, no one paddling around in a canoe, no helicopters rescuing stranded animals.... just a mild flood really, I think we're all kind of used to mild floods these days. Anyway, I got slightly wet as I rolled through the flood - it looked calm and welcoming as I entered it but then a swell built up and by the time I was through it my feet and legs, from the knees down, were soaked.
Apart from the flood there was little to remind me of how bad the weather had been yesterday. The roads (apart from the flood) are dry. The winds have abated, the blue sky is softened by a sea of white islands and the sun, when it peeps through is hot. It is more summery than it's been for the past fortnight, perhaps this is the change? it is, after all, almost May. All of a sudden it's warm enough and bright enough to believe in the dandelion. There is a fly that does too. As if drawn in by the flower's gravity, the fly fastens to its brassy rays, searching for liquid gold. It is softly and almost transparently jewel-like, with art-nouveau window-paned wings, bristled with sensors and both delicate and powerful. From a distance the fly seems just a blemish on the flower, but for the dandelion it is the reason for its explosion of life. This is an ephemeral solar system. Once pollinated by the fly, the flower will turn into a clock, to be blown away with the winds.
As I arrive back home I dock my bike as usual and go to retrieve my mileage details from the computer/mileometer affixed to the handlebars - only this time there is just a gap where the computer used to be. I stare at it for a few seconds and at the floor underneath - somehow hoping that it may have just dropped off as I got back. No luck. Somewhere over the last 12 miles or so I've lost my little cycling buddy - I've become quite attached to it over the past couple of years. And it was comforting to have, especially on longer journeys, watching the miles click up, or counting them down, checking average speeds, time on the bike, actual speed - trying to get to 40mph - whatever..... I can't imagine why I didn't notice it had gone sooner? - Maybe because I was riding a familiar route I didn't look at it so much? - I don't know? One thing's for sure though - it's gone.