Broken Bicycle Blues

I no longer fear hell, because I have just experienced worse. I have documented the journey, as you will see below.

While cycling in the torrential rain down Harold’s Cross Road, soaked and blinded as the droplets fire against my glasses like bullets, I hear a loud BURST and am thrown from my bike into a parked car. Yes, my tyre decided to fail me at the most unfortunate of times. I lock it to a nearby pole and ring several people to rescue me but I am met with “the Vodafone customer you are calling is not accessible at the moment.”

Wanting nothing more than to get out of the rain, I hailo. After several attempts, I give up and unlock the bike, drowned by persistent rain, and attempt to walk home with it. As fate would have it, the innards of the back tyre unravel and intertwine with the wheel, rendering it absolutely ‘bolloxed’.



A frugal man, I refuse to abandon it as there may be some inexpensive way to fix it at a more convenient time, but walking it home proved futile as it could no longer ‘roll’ down the road, so I had to carry it, like a whimpering, squeaking casualty of war, all the way home.

The journey is long and tedious, filled with ‘witty’ comments from cyclists going by, laughing as they watch me flooded by puddles and quite literally beaten by the elements. I hiss at one in particular and he recoils as venom trickles from my lips. Along McGowans pub, my body gives up, unable to carry the weight of the bike any longer. I get an idea and decide to cut the rubber mess from the wheel so I can ‘wheel’ it home instead.

Years from now, children will walk past that spot and say “See that? That’s where old man McGhee finally snapped.”

Not equipped with any weaponry, I improvise and use a key to sever the rubber. After rigorous attempts as it slips and slides like a snake from my grasp, I start to cut it and the key snaps in half (ironically my bike lock key) and that was when I no longer cared what became of the bike, or me, to be honest.

Absolutely defeated in the pissings of rain, I rest against a bush and have a smoke, sobbing heavily as I reflect on such existential questions such as “why do bad things happen to good people?” “what did I do to deserve this?” and of course “what is the point in it all?” I try hailo again, and just as I finally get one, my battery inexplicably dies at 18%.

I resist the urge to slash someone’s throat and scream FUUUUCCCKKKKKSAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKEEE at the sky, alerting drivers stuck in traffic as they wonder if that screaming cyclist is man or beast.

Years from now, children will walk past that spot and say “See that? That’s where old man McGhee finally snapped.” They will tell the tale of a broken man on April 23rd 2018, which by then will be made into a movie entitled Memoirs of a Dublin Cyclist.

Anyway, I digress. Left with no alternative, I continue to carry the bike after a brief reprieve. By the time I get to Lower Kimmage Road I am a shell of a human being, all traces of myself dead and gone as I struggle up the hill. I am on autopilot, almost catatonic with rage, when finally I see it… Cashel Avenue. Home.

My frozen, quivering hand jiggles my key in the lock and I open the door, greeted by the beaming smile of a child; a glorious light at the end of the most soul-destroying of tunnels. I reach out to embrace him but stop myself, looking down at my blackened, work-coarsened hands, my arms heavy with rain and dirt, and collapse to the floor.

That’s how I died.

Funeral procession to take place on Friday at St Agnes Church. No flowers please. All donations can go to an experimental business heralding a new regime whereby cyclists in peril will be rescued and fed curry sauce till they are restored to full health.


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