When I woke up this morning I honestly couldn’t have anticipated that dusk would find me pushing a motorbike three miles down the pavement. But Sexy February insists that motorbikes are sexy and so I had to push one for Day 4. The shop phoned me up. “We can’t store it here forever mate.” They wanted £45 which is lucky as that’s exactly how much I had left on my overdraft. “Hooray”, I said flatly as I watched the machine approve the transaction.
I’d definitely have preferred to ride it. But the entire back brake disc has been removed. And the guy who brought it out for me said “Don’t touch the front brake, it’ll seize. But I pumped the tyres up so you can push it ” So it’s a bike with great tyres and no brakes.
Pushing it up the bridge, I was admiring the encroaching dusk over the river. There was nobody on the pavement so once I reached the apex it made sense to sit on the the thing. Absently I sat down and took the handlebars. One foot off. Both feet off. As it gently gathered momentum down the slope towards the busy three lane road on the south side, my mind absently wandered to the words of the man in the bike shop. “Don’t touch the front brake … front brake … ake ake cake cake plum cake yum yum cake cake wake wake up Al no brake nooooo braaaaake.” Pigeons scattered in my brakeless wake as I screamed round the corner on an unstoppable heap of cobwebbed metal and finally brought the thing to a halt with ankles and shoerubber spread behind me.
I got back to pushing. Definitely the safer option, pushing. The good thing about bikes, I thought to myself, is that they’re heavy. Brian might disagree, since he’s still limping from a bike falling on his leg. And in that context I disagree too. But today was unforgivingly cold and I wasn’t dressed for the cold at all. I was in rehearsal clothes. Schrank wears a light leather jacket because he’s a badass and he wants to be able to mash your skull to a pulp nice and easily. Which is all very well for a messed up cop in springtime NYC. But London appears to have been visited by the arctic. It’s not warm here. Although it’s warm in my flat.
As I passed Battersea Power Station I stopped for a photograph.
I kind of figured the blog would end up with the bike. Also I needed a rest. I’d given myself a nosebleed. But I got the bloody thing home and then went off to a Buddhist meeting feeling a little sexier. Sexy rehearsal. Sexy lunch. Sexy bike. Then a load of chanting.
Now I’m home. The flat is full. There’ll be two of us on the sofa today. Golfo came over – we are working together tomorrow. She likes the cat. So we’ll be on the sofa tonight with the cat, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.