So here comes Nanny pepper pot,
On her yellow bicycle.
Pedaling along, head bent against the wind and rain.
red cape flying out behind.
Ah no! that’s just her raincoat.
Shes a Super Duper Granny.
One could easily compare the yellow bicycle to a sort of magic carpet because once I take off on her, any adventure or good deed I have or do, is out of my control.
So keeping that in mind, please don’t think I am looking for praise when I tell you the story of a true occurrence that took place a while back, when I was cycling to work.
It is an early Sunday morning in Spring.
Seven am to be exact.
I am cycling to work on the yellow bicycle.
The weather is dreadful, visibility poor because of the rain and the wind is so strong I am struggling, head bent against it.
But I am not the only one struggling.
As I reach the Blackrock shopping center, I see a man running down a side street.
His coat is open as though he didn’t have the time to button it and is flapping like a sail in the wind.
He is also struggling with a large wheely suitcase. which, weaving along behind him, sometimes overturns as he pulls it impatiently across the uneven surfaces of manholes and dips in the pavement.
This causes him to lose momentum, because, each time it does, he has to stop and right it.
I also see the reason for his hurry.
Ahead, The Patton flyer, (the small bus that ran this route to the airport before the days of the present day Aircoach) is pulling away from the bus stop.
The man rounding the corner on to the main road, is seconds too late.
‘Stop! Wait’ He shouts waving his free hand frantically at the receding red tail lights.
But it is hopeless, the wind carries his voice away.
(As a user of this service I understand the predicament he is in. This small bus only runs every hour on the hour and missing it probably will probably also mean missing his flight, unless of course he can afford to hail a taxi.)
At this stage I have come parallel to him.
and passing him, I call out.
‘Don’t worry I’ll stop the bus’ (remember I am on the yellow bicycle so this is uttered almost unbeknownst to my self)
My words are also swept away in the wind and I don’t think he hears me because he has slowed down, head dropping, defeated.
For a moment I am tempted to pretend I said nothing and just keep going to work but the yellow bicycle has other ideas and I find myself cycling faster.
And even though I know I have no hope in gaining on the red tail lights of the receding bus, I don’t give up.
As luck would have it, there is a set of traffic lights a few meters beyond the bus stop and these lights turn red.
The bus is forced to stop.
I see my chance and putting all my energy into turning those pedals around and hoping that the lights won’t change, I succeed in pulling up along side the drivers door .
I lean from my bike and rap my knuckles loudly against his window.
He glances sideways, his eyes widening in horror as he looks at the apparition staring in at him.
I see fear in his eyes (I understand what he is thinking.)
So to let him see it is not the ‘hold up’ he imagines it to be, I pull off my hood.
Relief floods across his face as he sees I’m a woman and not a mad gunman.
Still cautious, he lowers his window slightly.
‘Yes?’ He cranes his head to speak through the small opening he has created.
‘Oh please,’ I have to shout above the wind and the noise of his engine. ‘There is a poor man back there. He is nearly having a heart attack trying to catch you. PLEASE wait for him”
To my surprise the driver smiles and nods and as the lights turn green, he pulls over to the pavement.
I look back and see that my friend, recognising he has another chance, is starting to run again.
Job done, I get on my bike and continue on my way to work.
The bus catches up with me at Booterstown and passing me, the driver toots the horn loudly.
I look up to see a dozen faces peering and waving at me through the rain covered windows.
And then I see my friend.
‘Thank you’ He mouths as the bus disappears into the rainy morning.
I hope the hairdryer is working in the nurses changing room.
Sadly the Patton flyer is no more. Some bureaucratic problem with a licence caused it to be taken off the road. instead its been replaced by a huge impersonal air-coach which I cannot imagine would be so good as to carry out this simple but meaningful deed.