Friday, 9 October 2009

Cycling ... and the art of forgetting

Have you ever done this? You're maybe about a third of your way along your commute. You stop at a set of lights. You reach down instinctively to take a pull on your water bottle. Shock. Horror. The water bottle's not there. Then suddenly a very clear flash enters your brain - you can picture it exactly - it's on the chest of drawers just by the kitchen where you left it so you'd remember it to put onto your bike before you left this morning.

The water bottle is something of a comfort blanket and gives me something to do when I'm at a long set of lights. Oh, and you need water to survive, of course.

Then I started thinking - what else have I forgotten in the past? Well, pretty much everything. I've certainly forgotten my helmet. (And usually cycled back home to get it). I'm someone who gets changed at work - and, without going into sordid details, have, on different occasions, forgotten: a sock, socks, underpants, trousers ... and all my clothes. I've left my lunch in the fridge at home, and on the kitchen counter. I've never forgotten my bike - that would be silly. A bit Pythonesque in fact.

My suspicion is that on any given day there are hundreds of lunch boxes and sandwich packs languishing in home fridges all over London which should be at work. There are hundreds of members of our great city's workforce without underwear, or at least a sock, or tights. Have a look around. Is that person really wearing cycling shoes instead of work ones?

Give them a break. It's not easy being completely organised day in day out. I always think getting ready for a day's commuting on the bike is like packing for a weekend away.


Natalie said...

Yesterday I forgot my lights - although I did have lots of heavy batteries to put in them... It just meant I had to call into a bike shop and purchase those Knogs I had been coveting. I wanted to have two sets of lights anyway so that I can have a continuous and a flashing on both front & back. So really it was a blessing! Not sure my bank manger would agree...

Stephen said...

Once forgot to re-attach saddle bag which contains the p-word repair kit. Guess what happened 2 miles from home?

KarmaCycle said...

Ah - so there is good in leaving stuff behind Natalie - you end up with some cool lights ... and yes Stephen - totally with you on the repair kit thing - you carry it around for months and months without needing it, then ... yup.

Another thing I usually don't need is something to eat - I've occasionally got very powerful hunger cravings while cycling ... and sure enough not had any money to buy anything or anything snacky in the bag.

dtism said...

I forgot my bike once, I left it outside my block of flats as I opened the door to let a delivery man in, and then I went up to my flat, completely forgetting I'd left my bike outside. It of course wasn't there when I remembered 10 mins later. :(

Silly boy.

KarmaCycle said...

dtism - oh my goodness, my sympathies! That kind of thing is too easy to do - and as we all know, you leave a bike unattended for a few seconds and ... what a nightmare. Perhaps we all need a little personal alarm that dings if you move too far away from your bike ... or something!