Poems 18

                      Ride a Bike

 If you’d brighter days be stealing – Ride a Bike

For that ‘grand and glorious feeling’ –  Ride a Bike

          When you’re feeling kind of weary

          And the days seem drab and dreary

There’s one way out that’s cheery – Ride a Bike


If you’d know the thrill of racing – Ride a Bike

The fleeting miles displacing – Ride a Bike

          You’ll declare that nothing ever

          Can your new found pastime sever

And you’ll pity those who never – Ride a Bike


If at holidays you’re touring – Ride a Bike

If you’d make each day alluring – Ride a Bike

          There’s the Open Road before you

          There’s the blue sky always o’er you

Why the more you’re out, the more you – Ride a Bike


If companions you’d be meeting – Ride a Bike

For you they have a greeting – Ride a Bike

          If all these joys you’d win to –

          If you’re troubles you’d cut in two

You only need begin to – Ride a Bike!


                          A Tale of Two Cyclists       (Which summarises the story ‘Whacked’)

Two cyclists of our local clan

          Now claim your kind attention

Each thought he was a superman –

          Their names I will not mention

          (They took me in their confidence

          Believing that I had the sense

          To hold my tongue, and I’d do wrong

Their names to even mention).


A tandem once they both bestrode

          (‘Twas wild and wintry weather)

And just like supermen they rode –

          So well they ‘nicked’ together;

And with the speed of Hercules

          Aided by a goodly breeze

          They crossed the vales, of Northeast Wales

So well they ‘nicked’ together.


A hundred miles they passed ere noon

          The wind was strong behind them

And though they’d have to face it soon

‘Twas useless to remind them,

          Not till they’d sighted Snowdon’s peak

          Did they their mid-day luncheon seek

          And while they fed, with pride they said –

“Our pals – how we’ll remind them!”


At last they started homewards bent

          The icy gale before them

From slow to slower still they went

          As quick the winds outwore them

With bodies chilled, and frozen feet

And faces cut with stinging sleet,

          They tottered on, few miles they’d gone

Ere dark had fallen o’er them.


Oft beaten still, and always slow –

          This was exasperation!

With yet o’er seventy miles to go

          They reached a railway station

(Dear reader let me draw a veil

          On how they joined the iron trail –

The truth is plain, the railway train,

Did save the situation.


Pride goes before a fall, you know,

          If you out judge the distance;

And winds that first behind you blow

          May soon give stern resistance

So let this tale a lesson be

          When breezes speed you merrily

Each mile you tack, seems two more back

          And cyclists spurn assistance.


The above poem deals with a true story played out by Charlie and his tandem owning friend Jack on a December trip to North Wales.  The story is related elsewhere under the title ‘Whacked’  (Page 164 in Volume Four of Charlie’s memoirs).


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