5:43pm Monday 15th April 2013
By Bucks Bites
The A355 beckoned me, never ridden up there before. As I went up Gore Hill, I celebrated being able to keep up with the average car (I can’t do this in my sluggish Focus, just have to sit in the left lane and try and look like I prefer going slowly.)
Once I was across the M40 I thought I’d see what Stoke Poges looked like. As I went along, ecstatic at the warmth and freedom, I thought this was how people used to go out in their cars on the weekend: just go for a pleasant drive. I was still one of the lucky ones being able to glide through any traffic and relish the experience.
One of the most enjoyable aspects to my ride was the lack of cars – a plague for motorcyclists. Most seem to have a wish to mash up the riders and their machines – men and women alike. Don’t know why.
About 45 minutes into the ride, spots of rain fell: I decided to head home (yep, fair weather biker, that’s me.) The next junction would take me back to Gerrards Cross.
Maybe I was daydreaming, maybe I was appreciating the new road) I’d turned down (Ahhh, this is what Stoke Poges looks like…’) or just felt relieved I’d avoided Slough, but the bend came as a surprise, I braked (silly thing to do) hit the kerb and got thrown onto the verge.
There was no other vehicle involved, just me to blame. I wouldn’t wish it but when another party’s involved, there’s often a sense of being either a hero or a victim to rely on – fundamentally making me look less foolish.
So I sat on the damp grass a minute and made sure I could move my left arm which took the impact. Within a minute, a rather smart car pulled up and two people got out. Oh God, they’re going to tell me I’m a silly idiot for riding a bike at all, tell me they’re dangerous and scoff at me. The experience got more embarrassing.
The woman stood in the road deftly waving traffic past; the man came over and asked if I was hurt and what happened. Cough, slight mumble, ‘I fell off. Took the corner too fast I think.’
Their efficiency had all the characteristics of a professional rescue team. He checked my bike, asked if I’d hit my head, she asked where I lived.
He told me he was a trial biker. Racing along muddy hills, scrambling across ditches and mounds; he wouldn’t go on a road bike now he said. Having fallen off a bike onto concrete and now grass, I know that grass (damp grass) is softer to fall on.
In today’s world where hyperbolic human qualities abound (’fantastic’ amazing’ ‘brilliant’) I can use the most appropriate word for this couple which is kind. Gentle, helpful and warm.
I don’t know their names, where they lived or where they were going. But their help made me think that some people are just good and want to do good.
Maybe on average, humans are generally compassionate; but the way averages work, some might have very little compassion and others much more. It all averages out doesn’t it?
Readers and those close to me know me to be a cynic, a doubter and sceptic. This event has left me quite humbled. I feel bruised and a little battered physically but in human terms, extremely lucky. I’m indebted to this anonymous couple. Thank you.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group