Beer delivery

February 25, 2012 at 13:35 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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Last week, Toddler Chillikebab turned two years old, so we had a birthday party. it was huge amounts of fun; large numbers of sugared-up toddlers charging about, pushing each other over and then wailing, a ridiculously large cake with butter icing slowly going rancid in the twenty-eight degree heat, and a whole load of thoughtful presents that were mostly broken within the hour.

I had an inkling in advance what it would be like, as all of Toddler’s little friends are turning to two too and we’ve been to a few such parties recently. The key to survival, it seems, is plenty of adult party drinks to dull the sound of the screaming little voices, and if necessary to be used as sedatives after the event (both for the adults and the children…).

Yes, beer was going to be needed, along with bubbles to celebrate the auspicious occasion, and some wine for the shielas. So earlier that day I set off to the local bottlo to pick up what we needed – two cases of beer, three bottles of bubbles, some wine, and two bags of ice.

I loaded up my purchases on the counter, and the buy offered to give me a hand carrying them out.

‘Thanks,’ I said, ‘I’m just outside’.

The look on his face when I dumped the beer cartons on the back of the Radish was priceless; a mixture of astonishment and disbelief. He put the other things down next to me, and wished me luck, shaking his head as he went back inside.

But the Radish swallowed it all no problems. I have to say, the heavy-duty double-arm kickstand I bought for it a few months ago makes this kind of operation much easier, as the bike is rock solid stable as you load up. It was a lot of weight, which is a little tricky when first pulling away, but once moving it cruises along just fine. Much easier than with a passenger. I even got some admiring looks as I set off, with a couple eating in the pavement cafe next to the bottlo seeming very impressed, although what what they meant when they sad ‘we’ll probably read about you in the paper’ I’m not quite sure…

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You hit my dog!

April 18, 2011 at 00:14 | Posted in bicycles | 1 Comment
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There’s always a new experience waiting to happen when you jump on a bike and tonight was no exception. I made a last minute arrangement to meet a couple of friends for a drink, and of course jumped on the bike for the short ride down to the pub

I arrived and was looking for somewhere to lock up the bike when suddenly I was approached by someone.

‘I know you!’ she declaimed vehemently, staring at me with wild eyes.

Oh dear. One of those unwanted interactions that makes for an uncomfortable few moments. Was she drunk? Crazy?

My answer of ‘No, I don’t think you do’ was ignored as she continued.

‘You ran over my dog! On that bike!’

I have to say, I was a bit taken aback by that. All very random, and not what I expected. ‘I have no idea what you are talking about, I’m sorry.’

‘It was you!’ she cried. ‘You ran over my dog in the park, on that bike. It was you!’

Noting that she had two other friends approaching (another woman and a man), I decided it was time to leave.

‘I’m very sorry to hear about your dog, but it has absolutely nothing to do with me. Excuse me’. I swung my leg over the bike, and started to pedal away. The guy runs after me and grabs the back of the bike. I’m debating whether to pedal harder and try and break his grip or stop when I see the two friends I am meeting. I have to say, I was quite pleased to see them. Relieved, in fact.

I stopped, and further conversation ensued between the six of us. The woman repeats her accusation; her dog was run over in a nearby park by someone on a bike ‘exactly like’ mine, with a bell that sounds ‘exactly like’ mine. I actually think this is unlikely; I’m riding the Radish which is hardly a common sight, and I have an old-school ‘bring bring’ bell as opposed to the usual ‘ting ting’ variety. Still, this is not the sort of argument that is going to be won by logic.

There is a breakthrough. One of my friends knows a friend of a friend of one of the trio accusing me of dog-hitting. Agreement is reached that I am in fact probably not responsible. Apologies are muttered.

I lock up the bike and we go in for the beer that, by now, I am really in need of. We are ordering at the bar when the dog-woman comes in.

‘I am so sorry,’ she says. ‘My dog was hit by a cyclist and was badly injured and I’m very upset, but I shouldn’t have accused you. I am so sorry’.

I tell her that it is all fine, but she insists on buying us all a drink to apologise.

So all is well that ends well, but if anyone does know of a dog-hating radish-riding bring-bring-bell-toting outlaw who ran down a Jack Russell terrier in a park in the Lilyfield area some weeks ago perhaps you could encourage them to turn themselves in?

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