Friday 4 January 2008


As I simply cannot stomach another baby rant, and I don't do resolutions, you lot can have another entry from my history of idiocy.

Here in Holland, the bike is King.

The country is flatter than [insert name of any ex-girlfriend or undesirable here].
The infrastructure is tremendous for cyclists, cycle paths & lanes, traffic lights, special sign posting etc have all been heavily invested in, making it an environmentalist's wet dream.

So, upon my arrival in this fair land more than 6 and a half years ago, I decided I was going to fully integrate and cycle everywhere.

This I did with great enthusiasm.
To work, to shops, to visit friends, to appointments, to restaurants, and to bars. To lots of bars.

What amazed me almost as much as the widespread use of bikes was the fact that I had never fallen off, not once, not even while in one of my more inebriated and animated states.

That claim to fame was soon to be short lived.

One Friday, I hopped up on my 'fiets' as normal, and started to pedal home with all the excitement of the weekend to come rattling around in my otherwise empty head.
As is often the case my enthusiasm got the better of me and before I knew it I was speeding along the bike path much faster than normal.
Through the bio-science park I sped, faster around the roundabout, faster still past the stables, and even faster still along the canal.
Faster and faster and faster, the wind blowing through my Nr2 short back and sides.
My route took me alongside the edge of a construction site, faster and faster and faster.

Then it happened.

Before I knew it, I cycled right over a stray brick from the construction site, at high speed, sending my bike and it's idiot rider through the air.
Face first I flew, arms outstretched, only stopping when the cage-like railings surrounding the site brought my first solo flight to an abrupt and painful stop.

There I was, 5 feet off the ground, head & forearms inside the railings, the rest of me outside, spread like a backwards crucifixion, and worst of all, stone cold sober.
My arms had gone through the wire railings like two long pairs of gloves only to be caught by the bars at the elbows.

I hung there for a few seconds, my bike circling to a halt like a New Years drunkard succumbing to unconsciousness below me.

TWO PEOPLE CYCLED PAST ME. And pedaled onwards. To this day I don't know why they didn't stop or acknowledge the fact that there was a floppy Irishman suspended spreadeagled half way up the site's railings while they swerved to avoid his abandoned bike in their path.

I managed to remove my face from the railing, reverse my arms back from the now blade like wire which had only half succeeded in dismembering me, and drop on my ass onto the relative comfort and safety of a banjacksed bicycle five feet below.
Stunned and in no little pain, I gathered myself, my bike, and my two arms and hobbled the last mile home.

ET's face when she returned home to see me attempting to administer first aid to myself with two blood soaked forearms, was a site to behold.

The expletive based adjectives she used to describe me and my stupidity would make your Mammy's ears bleed.

I've learned not to speed through a construction site even if it is a Friday, and having the inside of both your elbow-pits cut through to the bone is somewhat painful.

I live to tell the tale.


Anonymous said...

Damn bricks! I bet it hopped right out in front of ya, huh? No really, I can relate. Me and two wheels have never got along. My left leg was mad at me for weeks as it had to heal from the burn of a dirtbike muffler. :D

Martin said...


Joeprah said...

That sux. Period. What were those other bikers thinking? I hate shit like that. Stop and help your fellow man already. Jerks. Cool story though. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that I get so much joy from your bouts of idiocy?

This was a great post with parts just dying to be taken out of context.

..there was a floppy Irishman suspended spreadeagled..

..spread like a backwards crucifixion, and worst of all, stone cold sober..

I managed to remove my face from the railing..

Your descriptive abilities astound me. Have a great weekend!

NH Yocal said...

Yikes...I am feeling your pain here. No, seriously, you really could have been killed!

No bikes for you!

BTW: I resent your idea of flatter than "insert undesirable" even though I believe being an "A" makes me smarter. So there.

Anonymous said...

I can just imagine ET's reaction! I think you are bloody lucky that she kinda needs certain bits of your anatomy, or else you may have lost them.

Martin said...

@Joe -
for the record, I DO mean bicycle and not like a Harley or anything, when you say biker I picture ZZ-top.

The Dutch are offstandish to say the least.

@Chuck -
Wrong? not at all. I laugh at this stuff now, that was almost 6 years back now. If you can't laugh at yourself you'll struggle I find.

@Melinda -
Yep, joking aside it could have been stupidly tragic.
I've cycled almost daily since then.
Sorry about the flat gag, personally I prefer no more that a handful, I'm just pandering to the masses ;-)

@Veronica -
Actually - it's been said that too much time in the 'real' saddle can cause problems when you need to spend time in the 'metaphorical' saddle...who knows...

Craig D said...

I was going to suggest training wheels, but those wouldn't have helped.

Glad you lived to tell the tale, my man!

Momo Fali said...

OH NO! That's awful! I hope you are on the mend.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, it might be the environmentalists wet dream but it sounds like your worst nightmare!

Very glad that you lived to tell the tale!

Martin said...

@craigd, @momo fali, @Tiff -

It was a few years ago now so I'm well recovered and back in the saddle!

Unknown said...

OUCH! those bike accidents can really hurt -- a woman not long ago fell on the street outside my house and broke her elbow.

Anonymous said...

just glad to read a lesson was gleaned form this experience.

Unknown said...

It could have been worse...the people who left you for dead could have stopped...taken out their cameras, snapped a few photos, laughed at you and then jumped back on their bikes and took off.

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Martin said...

@DorkyDad -
Yep its smarts!

Although I find the faster you come off, the less damage u do if that makes any sense.

@Struglas -
sure was, don't be stupid was the main one.

@Bernardhny -
It wouldnt surprise me one bit if they did. Although it would show some interest on their behalf so you never know...
You sound like you've experience this lol!

@CresceNet -
Er...Mmmkay thanks.

frog ponds rock... said...

heheheheheh *evil chuckle* hehehehehe

Martin said... wench!