Hill Horror

The calendar entry for Saturday read “Pick up Bike”, I couldn’t have realized quite how literal that reminder would prove to be.

I like riding bikes but I have a severe and disabling bike parking phobia. I always have had. I took the first bike I had, out on a trip to Matlock – motorbike heaven, but rode right through before looping back and heading home dejectedly because I couldn’t bear to park in front of all those experienced bikers.

For the last month (which happens to coincide with the onset of my latest electric bikes themed “enthusiasm”) I have had terrible night sweats relating to the bike parking anxiety.I’ve done my best to calm my fears. I’ve watched youtube videos on the subject and visualized parking spots and methodology. I really felt I had my demon whipped but that was BS….before Saturday.

We live on a hill. The sign says 17’ but it’s near vertical in places. Obviously you can’t park a bike on inclines like that so I’d earmarked a spot across the road, just on the brow of the hill. Of course when I get the Bonneville home I find a car sitting in the one and only spot I’d psychologically mastered.


There followed a period of considerable revving as I looped around the block a few times sizing up the options and ensuring an audience of curtain twitchers had amassed.

For some reason I have a brain fart at this point and decide to park right in front of our house so I can admire it from the living room window. So I pull in with my wheel pointing up the hill (like I say, I’ve done my research) and kick the side stand down. I then combine my clambering off the machine with my release of the front brake; just to ensure I am at my most unbalanced as the Triumph starts to slide down the hill, scraping a trail in the tarmac.

I’m not too sure what happened then. I resigned myself to being pinned under the bike but made some heaving attempts first. There were horrible revving sounds, grunts and then a ping of snapping metal.

Bollox! My foot rest was off and impaled in the tarmac.

I hauled the bike up and across the road and deserted it while I walked nonchalantly back, stooping surreptitiously to retrieve the shrapnel and heading inside to wail about my broken bike.


I was very lucky not to have completely ruined the new machine.

None of the paintwork was touched and the impaled foot rest must have saved both me and the engine from any serious crush injuries.

My pride is seriously dinted though. The neighbours spotted my ineptitude and then I had to ring the dealer to see if he might possibly have a spare pedal because I managed to break mine off less than hour after taking it away.


By Sunday life was looking up again.

Lynn fixed the bike for me and is showing signs of wanting to go for a ride and the neighbour took pity on me and offered me the use of his drive to park on.

The world is back to being a wonderful place.

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