How To Die

The bad weather forecast for yesterday transpired. Strong winds and plenty of damage. Trees down, including one that crushed a car and killed the driver. Of course, on a specific level that’s a tragic event and you can only feel sympathy for the family and friends who are left behind. On a general level though, I kind of think that’s not too bad a way to go – a genuine accident and a quick death.

If something comparable happened to me while I’m out riding then I hope those I’m leaving behind will be able to understand that I’ve died doing something I like and that’s fair enough. Genuine accidents are rare – by and large there’s someone to blame. If I die because of a genuine accident while I’m doing something for me, I’d hope no-one would have a problem with that. The same applies if I drop dead with a heart attack or something, as I struggle up a hill. So it goes.

Between Christmas and New Year I was down on Hengistbury Head. With strong winds making it feel bitterly cold and horizontal rain coming in sheets and making even looking into it hard work, the planned walk was abandoned. It was just too harsh to be pleasant in any way. Not even ‘braving it’ was going to be satisfying.

So, if abandoning something is doing ‘A Full Hengistbury’, then this morning’s ride ranked as .75 on the Hengistbury Scale at times. On an off-road bike though largely riding on road, the lanes near Crowsley in particular were quite stunningly unpleasant to go along – thoughts of giving up loomed large. But, again, it’s a case of grabbing the opportunities there are: the afternoon was forecast to be wet and windy again, and it was, and tomorrow it’s getting up to gale force yet again. It might have been fairly foul in parts, but it was still good to get out for most of the time. And it did lead me to think up the Hengistbury Scale.