Written on the bike, it says “Surly”.
The eyes seem to say “crazy”.
The beardy certainly says “weirdy”.
Small wonder, then, I should be proclaimed: “Jesus. It’s JESUS!” by the neanderthals who joined my Friday afternoon train home, all those years ago.
As the journey went on, so did the drinking of my raucous, but good humoured, new subjects. Eventually, the conversation turned to intellectual matters, specifically what the letters HB on a pencil stood for. Those in the immediate vicinity of the neanderthals didn’t know, and neither did the conductor.
I knew. But I wasn’t going to reveal that.
The conductor went about his business, checking tickets and so forth throughout the train, until finally he came over the tannoy system to pose the pencil question to all passengers. Clearly I was the only person on board to possess such powerful knowledge (and facial hair).
Tentatively, I peeked around from my chair and raised my hand.
“JESUS! JESUS KNOWS THE ANSWER!!!”, the lead neanderthal proclaimed, pointing at me with sheer delight in his eyes.
You can imagine the beer-fuelled cheer that erupted when I quietly proclaimed:
Just this morning, after performing a minor miracle with 2 slices of bread and some eggs (I didn’t fancy fish for breakfast), I took off on the bike to explore a new route. As I was riding through the park, I came across a group of 6 or 7 knuckle-draggers riding identical bikes. Isn’t evolution wonderful?
I still haven’t figured out what the identical bikes were all about, but as I was making my way through the pack, the questions came thick and fast.
“Whoa. Is that, like, GPS?”
“How fast can you go on that?”
“So, you can charge your phone AND have the lights on?”
Sometimes, it’s hard being the messiah.
I made my polite excuses, and showed them how fast I can go on that, much to their increasingly distant delight.
As it turns out, I’ve ridden large portions of this route before, purely by accident. But now I can at least piece together a nice 30ish mile route up to one of the places my girlfriend sells her cakes on a local farmers’ market.
After grabbing myself a coffee and a delighfully-bad-for-you cheese pastry thing from the excellent French bakery stall next door, I headed for home, pretty much retracing the same route back, only minus all the wrong turns my drunk GPS took me down on the way.
Rolling through the park close to home, I was so busy trying to not run over dogs and small children that I hardly noticed my flock coming around the corner on their matching steeds.
I couldn’t help but smile at the cacophony of recognition as I passed them again on my way home.
But wait. I’d been gone for at least 2 hours, and they were still doing circuits around the local country park? On their matching bikes?
As I’ve been typing this, a possibility has struck me. You see, near our local country park, there’s a small prison. I wonder if maybe they were actually (presumably very well behaved, and trustworthy) offenders out on an organised bike ride with a couple of prison officers?
Maybe they were. And maybe their delight was brought about by the correctional powers of cycling. Maybe it was the beautiful early spring sunshine warming their hearts, as it warmed their backs. Maybe it was.
But maybe, just maybe, they were so delighted because JESUS recognised them?
Christ on a bicycle.