The roads are slick with mud and mulchy leaves. Take care, I tell myself. Don’t catch a brake I remind my gloved fingers.
In the appropriately named Ratsloe, barely 2km into the ride, my hands ignore all advice and before I know it I am colliding with the ground. Hip, back and ribs bear the brunt and I lie for a moment in the middle of the road swearing loudly. A kindly lady emerges from a house on the corner and asks if I need help. Somewhat grimly I smile and say no, no, I’ll be fine.
For a moment the adrenalin surge and my pride harangue me to carry on, to get back on and Ride It Out. Sense of a sort prevails, however, and I limp home, gingerly avoiding any lumps on the road as even the slightest shock sends tremors through my chest.
Later I lie on the sofa and feel my ribs move beneath the cushion. The pain makes me nauseous. I accept the inevitable and surrender myself to the mildly hallucinogenic succour of drugs.