Whirling wheels along the Prom, Prom, Prom…

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October 2, 2014 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette September 25th 2014

THE OTHER evening I sat on the long bench and watched the cyclists meandering along the prom and thought it time to get my own bicycle out of storage. The Prom looked safe enough, no potholes, no roundabouts, I don’t do roundabouts on a bicycle. My bike had been at least two years in storage. Found it eventually tucked away behind a discarded mower and an old washing machine both of which I had promised myself to fix when time permitted. Took a while to get some air into the tyres and that puffed me but finally, weary of arm but stout of tyre, I wheeled it from garage to pavement and mounted. Oh dear, my feet did not touch the ground on either side, the Dawes Hybrid Roadster had grown or I had shrunk. I read somewhere that as we get older we lose 1cm in height every decade from the age of forty. Uhm, that was some time ago and at which rate I shall be about two foot six next year. In some respects that could be an advantage but I cannot think of one right at this moment. Took the Dawes in to Spokes the Beach Road cycle shop and explained my difficulty in balancing with both feet waving in the air. Andy the owner suggested lowering the saddle, funnily enough, not being very technical, I was quite proud of the fact I had already thought of that myself but it seemed as if, like me by then, the saddle was at its lowest ebb. I suggested a trade in for a smaller framed machine, perhaps even a tricycle, but he told me he could lower it sufficiently. Now I can touch the ground on both sides so, if you are sitting on the prom in the twilight and should see a wobbly cyclist in a Stetson hat and playing a ukulele come your way I suggest it might be prudent to stand on the bench rather that sit upon it…

BOUGHT a super new book on the history of collective nouns by Chloe Rhodes titled An Unkindness of Ravens. Three I really love are ‘a rascal of boys’, ‘a wandering of tinkers’ and ‘a worship of writers’. I am sure I will find others as I progress through these delightful pages. I may even make a few up…

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