It wasn’t a conscious decision that found me and my bicycle prostrate in the depths of Broughton Green ford, just a too-fast downhill approach and an injudicious touch on the brake, resulting in an involuntary flying header in to the middle of the ford. I landed with a splash and a thud on my left side and lay musing for a while, none too pleased with how the day was turning out. You silly old fart, I thought, what if you can‘t get up? You must at least have broken your hip and you’ll probably go in to shock and drown where you lie.
I tried looking on the bright side. I was wearing clean underwear, so my widow wouldn’t be shamed in the mortuary when she identified me. And anyway, with luck, a motorist would find me and have sufficient compassion to stop and help, and not to drive round or, more likely, over me. On the other hand, if the driver was some harassed rural mom in her 4 x 4, late for the school run, that would probably be more than an elderly cyclist could expect, so I decided to try and vacate the stream before I was flattened beyond recall.
Surprisingly, tentative limb-waving indicated nothing obviously amiss about my person, so I picked myself and bike from the waters, waded to the shore and examined myself for signs of terminal injury while the water trickled slowly from my shoes and clothing.
I couldn’t believe my luck: not a mark on me, and no bike damage either. I’d got away with it this time, but I’ve had an uncomfortable feeling recently that the Grim Reaper is close by, loitering with intent, just looking for the chance to stuff his scythe through my front spokes. Best be more careful in future