Competitive cycling can be a risky business to be sure. That said, a rider can usually expect make it home without having been engulfed in flames.
Not so in Majorca it seems. Thanks to the quaint local farming practice of randomly setting fire to large swathes of hedgerow, immolation is clearly a peril to rank alongside road rash on this island. To be honest, as we approached the flaming brush a little caution might have been in order, but with two of our group setting course through the billowing smoke I decided to hold my breath and press on to the other side.
That would have been fine had not a particularly stiff gust of wind whipped itself up at that very moment, causing a sizeable tongue of flame to dart across the road right in front of my nose.
Hmmm – that’s a bit of a jolly pest I didn’t think. I actual fact my thoughts turned to very rude words and the urgent need to instigate a Cavendish-style power surge through the flames and out to safety.
I made it, with arm hair singed and a good coating of ash on the rest of me. The crazy thing is that – as the picture shows – the flames died down almost as soon as they’d risen up. It was outstandingly bad timing on my part.
Thankfully the rest of our 90-odd mile jaunt saw no other dramas on that scale. We climbed to the monastery at Cura de Randa, which was a very nice little tester and very scenic at the top.
The weather was great again and I got back to the hotel a bit knackered and saddle-sore but in good spirits.
That was yesterday. Today has seen another round in my ongoing battle to get any sort of acceptable service for my business from bloody British Telecom. Their business broadband operation is truly fucking useless, pardon my French. And the time and effort required even to partially resolve their latest cock-up meant I missed our team ride today, having to resort to a solo spin up and down a couple of the local hills while the other guys have headed off for what I’m sure is a lovely café run. They’re still out now, soaking up some sunny miles while I stew in the hotel wi-fi zone.
Not that I’m letting it get me down. Oh no, not me. No, that’s not my style. Nope, not at all. Really not. Honest.