Perilous Pub Behaviour
As a cyclist I am always looking to extend my time in the saddle where ever possible. Now obviously I like to get out there as it were, at the weekends to unburden myself of the week’s junk food intake, which is never as bad as I make out and to free my mind of all my worries. Let me tell you though that there is another not so clever side to some of these bright ideas.
It was several years ago that I came up with my plan. The idea was simple and could do no harm to anyone. At this time I was a regular pub goer in my village. I liked to go to the pub on a Saturday night with some of my friends to talk about life and relax with a couple of drinks. The village I lived in was fortunate enough to have three very good pubs in fact and I generally liked to frequent them all of an evening. The only problem was that they were spread quite far apart.
I thought about using my bike to go to the pub but I didn’t want to leave it outside for the fear of it being stolen and anyway it was just too good to be used for this kind of trip. I realised one day whilst looking around my shed that I probably had enough spare parts to make myself another bike. I set about my task with a great amount of enthusiasm and cobbled together an old mountain bike frame and some wheels and built up a sort of fixie. It didn’t take very long to put together, probably just over an hour or so and with a blast of satin black paint the job was complete.
The pub bike was born. It was a very simple affair with semi slick tyres and just a single brake. I had taken an angle grinder to everything else that was superfluous and once it had its black satin finish applied I thought it looked very stealth like.
I honestly believed at this point that it would be much more efficient at getting me from A to B or in this case pub to pub on this brilliant and also free form of transport. What I forgot to factor in was that as the evening wore on I would slowly start to lose my coordination.
First time I went out on it I aimed for the furthest pub in the village, halfway along the main road I saw a group of my friends walking along, I pulled up alongside them to show them what I’d built. They all seemed very impressed and I sped off in the direction of the first watering hole with a kind of smugness knowing that I would be the first one in and with the best choice of seat.
My plan worked, it was brilliant and I congratulated myself with several pints of Guinness. For the more intelligent of you out there I’m sure you think you know where this story is going but let me continue anyway.
By the time I left the pub I was shall we say nice and happy. We all left together and I decided that I would stay with them and ride along at a nice slow pace so we could talk as we went. One of them and I can’t remember who it was said “I bet you can’t pull a wheelie on that thing”. I was sure I could so I said I would give it a try. This bike was very heavy and I gave a little pull on the bars as I pushed on the pedals but not much happened, so not to be beaten I tried again. This time I really went for it and success, oh wait a minute not success, disaster. The pedals were of the rat trap type, so my feet stuck to them as I went straight up in the air and landed on my back still in a kind of riding position in the middle of the road much to the amusement of all my friends.
You would think that this was enough of a warning for me to give up the pub bike and start walking again but not me. A few weeks went by without any drama then one night I was sitting at the bar.
It was late and with the aid of my beer goggles I started to look up and down the pub and thought to myself, I bet if I got my bike inside the pub I could ride it from one end to the other. I disappeared outside for a while then suddenly reappeared like Evel Knievel, racing through the bar along the wooden floor down to the restaurant area at the bottom of the pub. I managed to negotiate my way round the dining tables and then came back past the bar through a very narrow stone doorway into the old part of the pub and on up to the top near the toilets. This was brilliant, so I thought I’d have another go but this time now I knew the route I could really go for it. A huge shout went up as I rocketed past the bar and back to the tables at the bottom again, round and back up to the top. I couldn’t believe how much fun riding a bike indoors could be. My confidence had grown and I continued to go up and down, faster and faster.
This is when it happened, as I got close to the bar on one of my return passes, riding now as fast as I could go, somebody stepped backwards away from the bar. I glanced off them before riding full speed into the edge of the stone doorway that led through to the old part of the pub. The last thing I remember was hitting some tables and chairs before being catapulted halfway down the next room and landing on my back on some steps.
As I came round, a friend of mine was standing over me with a very concerned look on his face. It was a good job I was drunk because it numbed the pain of all my cuts to my shoulder and head. True this was a story that would be told and retold in the months and even years to come and would always be talked about with a smile but it would be the last time I ever rode my bike through the pub again.
Over the next few days, the pain was pretty bad and it dawned on me finally that riding a bike after having had a few drinks was not a very good idea at all, especially in doors. It was a lesson learned not so much the hard way but more the stupid way. These days I am much more sedate in my activities and cringe a bit if I see some youngster riding around on a pub crawl.
I would definitely not recommend this sort of thing to anyone but you can’t always tell people what to do as was proved just two weeks ago when my Stepson went out on a pub crawl with some of his friends on their bikes and he ended up crashing at the end of the night, cutting up his knee and ripping his clothes. My advice now would be firstly don’t drink quite so much and secondly walk home or arrange some other transport.
If you are wondering what happened to the bike, well I still have it but now I use it to ride round the estate where I live with my two girls at the weekends. This is much more enjoyable and definitely a lot less painful.