The Bike and Other Stories
Cycling adventures around London, New York City, and Berlin.
Geoffrey Armes
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Geoffrey Armes - 2020-09-18 23:04:47+02:00

The moment came, and despite the lowering sky and near frigid temperature I went for it. Mysteriously my back tire was flat, but not so mysteriously as I knew that the valve was dodgy, and so re inflated the tube and it held. My phone was charged but then I remembered I was out of credit. A quick test confirmed this: I could receive calls but not place them. No taxi home today then whatever happened. I could call an ambulance though. Hmm. I had two tubes with me, although did not want to face a road side change in this weather. If I left in a hurry maybe I'd meet Sascha who'd left earlier coming back and join him for a few k. Maybe. About an hour of daylight proper left.

The wind was in my teeth as I worked, out the saddle, then in a tuck attempted aerodynamic shape, but none of it made the journey easier. The sky was lower and was that spitting snow I was feeling? Pushed on, surely if I hustled I'd find Sascha or at least get down to Schwani, but the weather increased and so did a certain nervousness. A couple of potential wrongs are fine, but here presented four.

Potential flat tire owing to not having changed the back tube before leaving. Imminent darkness.
Unable to call home or a taxi (well, that wouldn't have been a factor decades back but times change). Potential weather thickening, quickening. First and fourth especially, offered a depressing combination if such was evoked, as two advanced inexorably.

After about 30 minutes I called it off, and reversed for home, as fast as I reasonably could do so. Win some, lose some, get to ride another day. Saw no sign of Sascha, presumably safe and warm recovering after nifty moments on the hills. Snow attempted to skim my face, the road was hissing damp. Car lights glistened. Decorations were up on the Ku-damm, this first Sunday in Advent.