Final day of the bike rental and we had to get the bikes back to Yatton. And there was only one way that was going to happen. So we first cycled a mile or so into Cheddar to see my folks and then cycled ten miles from there to Yatton. It was a bit harder work than last time and Phoebe got annoyed with me for not telling her which way she should be going (even though I did) and we had to walk our bikes up a couple of steep inclines, but it was still an adventure and we battled it together and split another chocolate bar. I noticed more old platforms this time and thought about the Victorians and Edwardians who would have alighted at Winscombe or Congresbury and what they’d have thought of the people of the future travelling along the same route on a less advanced form of transport. One stretch seemed impossibly long, like it would never end, but at least I could see both ways when I needed a wee. But just as I got going a plume of chalky dust was thrown up in the distance and a car was coming towards us. I didn’t even know cars could go on this track. I had to stem mu flow and wait.
As we bouldered along the bumpy track and it felt a bit like my tyres were going soft, but I checked them and they were fine.
We sped up towards the station and arrived at the car park. Catie and Ernie were coming to pick us up but I couldn’t see them. But they then pulled into the station, arriving at almost exactly the same time as us (obviously they’d left later). We’d been out for about 100 minutes and all was well. Except the minute that I saw the car I became aware that my back wheel was really dragging and amazingly, at the very last minute, something had gone badly wrong. I thought it was a flat tyre, but in fact the tyre had bumped itself off the wheel. We’d done about 25 miles of cycling in the last 3 days and this could have happened at any point - I had been given a tool kit and a pump but I’m not sure how great I’d have been at repairing it. It was incredibly lucky that this had happened right at the end of our journey - the bike finally having to accept that I was too heavy for it and falling over dead. The man at the hire place didn’t mind at all.
Exhilarating fun for us both. We were the champions.
We had lunch at the station and then returned to our holiday home as Phoebe had a session on the climbing wall booked in. How much adventure does this girl need? And then we went back to my folks, where my sister Jill was visiting, bearing gifts for the kids and we played a couple more rounds of Kubb. I was back on form, though Ernie played for the first time, pulling off an incredible throw that paved our way to victory in match 1. gallantly threw the second match so that Phoebe could experience the joy of defeating me. She was delighted that I had been vanquished at this game for the first time ever. And I was delighted to be trash talked. Sometimes you have to lose to win.
Also I hadn’t lost. I’d thrown it. I am still a winner. Take that future Phoebe reading this. Though if you’re in the future then you are doubtless defeating me at everything. You’re already better than me at nearly everything at 8 years old. Also I love you.