During the winter months the clubs hosting pointages often award extra points if you pick up a ticket en route. This is generally a carrot to encourage you to cycle a bit farther and wider. I left the flat about an hour after my beloved, who wanted to ride with his clubmates. I had timed my departure to avoid the worst of the morning’s chill and damp conditions and to arrive with time to spare to collect my ticket. Or so I thought.
I arrived at the designated rendez vous point to collect my ticket only to discover no one was there. They were supposed to be there until 10:15, it said so on the announcement which I had consulted prior to leaving. I was not a happy bunny. I whipped out my mobile and took a photograph of the empty car park which handily also records the time and where I took it. I continued on my chosen path muttering about clubs who don’t stick to the rules. I have fallen foul of these a couple of times, arriving exhausted only to find the club’s volunteers have shut up shop before the witching hour: nul points and no refreshments. Of course, now that I’m Club Secretary, I receive a copy of the each pointage’s details so I KNOW when they’re supposed to close or how long they’re supposed to hang around to hand out tickets. Knowledge is power.
Fuelled by anger and still muttering to myself, I was riding really well and overtaking large numbers of cyclists on my chosen route to the pointage. I was zooming down towards the coast road when out the corner of my eye I noted an oncoming car indicating it was turning left, across my bows. I continued, but so did the car. A collision was inevitable. I applied the brakes and skidded on the wet road only to be knocked over by the car which stopped. The lady driver emerged and demanded to know why I hadn’t stopped. I leapt to my feet and checked my bike. It appeared undamaged. I turned and advised the woman: 1) I had right of way; 2) she should have stopped and would have done so had I been another car; 3) driving while talking on your mobile is dangerous and illegal. I suggested that in future she keep her eyes on the road. I mounted and rode off to a round of applause from the witnesses. I consigned her registration number to memory.
Finally, I arrived at the pointage ready to do battle for my additional points. The wind was rather taken out of my sails by one of the guys who said he’d seen me at the meeting point but had been unable to catch my attention. I recognised him but didn’t drop him in it. He and his team mates had been enjoying a cup of coffee 500 metres up the road! I got my precious points. I’m now back home and surveying the damage. Two black knee caps, a sore left hip and shoulder where the car struck. I’ll live to tell my tale again and again.
Monday Postscript: All sorts of aches and pains this morning which I’m stoically ignoring. The worst is my left shoulder which I hurt when I fell over on Saturday and exacerbated when I attempted to hold off the advancing vehicle yesterday. The blackened knees look impressive but will be hidden beneath my 3/4 bib tights.