A funny thing happened on the way home

When a cycle path doubles as a trunk road


I normally avoid tales of my daily commute unless something really mad happens. But I think this counts. The cycle track I use to get between Bristol and Bath is pretty straightforward. Yes, there are dogs. Yes, there are pedestrians. Yes, there is the occasional broken bottle. Apart from that all is usually peaceful. At least until it reaches Bristol’s inner city, when things can occasionally get hairy.


Yesterday was something else altogether. It had been quite windy and the path was covered with leaves and gravel and twigs and torn up buddleia. So I was concentrated on not popping my tyres on all the knobbly branches lying around.

And that’s when I cycled into a tree. Luckily for me and my bike I ended up in the soft bit. A horse chestnut (I think) had fallen down across the path and so I rode into a load of leafy branches which poked and prodded a bit, but didn’t stop me dead.

But somewhere in there was a trunk. Already knackered thanks to a late night, I wasn’t going to double back. So, I lifted my bike up and over, only to spot a local photographer I know looking on in bemusement. She’d been sent to get a picture of the “devastation” by the local newspaper. Claire wandered over to give me a hand and we exchanged pleasantries and eye rolls.

I was halfway through the tricky process of clambering over after it when she said, in a slightly cheeky tone: “Err, don’t suppose I could get a pic could I?”

How could I refuse? Well, I nearly did when she then asked me to lug my bike back over so that she could get an “action” shot.


Still, it does mean I’ve now got this great, if slightly dishevelled, record of the occasion.