THIS WEEK, in a vain attempt to lose three stone and a couple of decades – not to mention fed up with paying inflated petrol prices - I decided to swap my four wheels for two and invested in a bike.
Thanks to the very helpful Cycleman in Hampden Park, I found the bike of my dreams, dug out my lycra, brushed away the Galway lace (another word for cobwebs in our house) from my cycle helmet and on Monday morning, set off for a leisurely ride to work. In the rain.
And what an eye opener it was. For a start there are too many people not wearing cycle helmets which as any paramedic will tell you, is cycling suicide if you come a cropper with anything else that gets in your way or vice versa. I lived in New Zealand once where if you ventured out on two wheels without a helmet there, you’d get slapped with an on the spot fine.
And then there are the motorists who drive up your derriere and don’t give you enough room. I’m liking the cycle paths though - except when they stop dead in the middle of nowhere.
The highlight of the day though was when my seven-year-old daughter and I arrived at McDonalds - on our bikes - to refuel with refreshments, only to find the Lottbridge Drove eaterie closed for refurbishment but the drive through was open.
“Never mind,” I said to the Little Princess, “Let’s ride through the drive through and get some food.” By this time I was so thirsty I could’ve drunk the brandy from a wound.
So we queued up with everyone on four wheels until the Health and Safety Police turned up and told us they couldn’t serve us because we weren’t motorised vehicles. All we wanted was a Happy Meal. We’re Lovin’ It - not.
UNFORTUNATELY the gremlins struck at Herald Towers last week and parts of my column were missing.
On the subject of finding my 11-year-old son a part time job so he could earn his own money, my point was that because of Health and Safety, he can’t get a job washing up or even a paper round. When he rang up to enquire about a paper round he was told he’d need a car.
So we’re back to square one but instead of sitting around waiting until he’s 16 expecting pocket money hand-outs from us without having to do much at all, he’s got a bucket and sponge. Car wash anyone?!
SUMMER time and the living is easy. But not for everyone. I am all for a good old party but not when I have to listen to Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry booming out courtesy of the people whose garden backs onto mine at 2am. Or children screaming while they’re jumping about on a trampoline at dawn’s crack on a Sunday morning while the rest of us are sleeping.