I've been inexcusably remiss where this blog is concerned over the past few months. The trouble is, cycling is really the least reader-friendly part of my job. Those moments where I'm storming along Clerkenwell Road with the wind in my hair and the sun in my eyes may be indescribably exhilarating, my pinnacle of mental and physical wellbeing, the whole reason I do it, etc., but they really don't make for very interesting posts.
What's far more entertaining is the age-old courier lore of 'stupid things I have done on, near, or involving my bike'. Glance through any courier forum, and you're bound to find whole threads of various laughable and hair-raising anecdotes. And without further ado, here's my latest...
I spent the night at a friend's, and when I left for work the next morning he was already long gone, so I let myself out. He lives in the ground floor of a house, and so has two front doors - the main one, that opens onto the street, and his own personal one, that leads into his flat. In between the doors there's a tiny porch area, about a metre square - just big enough for my friend's two doors, and the one that leads to the upstairs flat.
This in-between area is exactly the right size to contain a half-awake courier and an upended bike - as I discovered that morning, when I left the flat, closed the first door behind me, and immediately realized that I was trapped, since the second door only opens inwards, and with my bike there, didn't have room to do so. And I didn't have a key to get back into the flat.
I spent a good ten minutes thinking 'this is ridiculous - don't panic - there's bound to be some way out', and twisting my bike into various positions to try and give the door enough room to open. And when I realized that it really wasn't going to happen, and that I was probably trapped in this confined space (smaller than any of the lifts I usually spend half my time in) until my friend (or the people from the upstairs flat) came home from work to rescue me, I spent another ten minutes imagining all the worst-case scenarios - not least the likely results of the pot of coffee I'd just had with my breakfast.
And I was on the verge of calling my controller, to admit my folly, and explain that I wouldn't be in work today, because I was trapped in Camberwell between two doors, when I realized (oh miracle!) that someone almost as absent-minded as me had left the door to the upstairs flat unlocked.
So all was well. I (guiltily) pushed open the door, shuffled my bike aside, finally got the front door opened, and was free! Goodness knows what I'd have done if that door hadn't been unlocked. (And this is the first time I've admitted to my stupidity.)