David clipped in with his right foot and rolled gently down the newly paved driveway and turned right. The air was chilly but the morning held a promise of warmth later. It really was a beautiful morning for a bike ride.
All to soon the tee junction appeared with its abrupt announcement that Aldgate Valley Road was now at an end. Decision time presented itself and begged the question, which way to go today? Mt Lofty was the logical choice, and then? He would choose when he got there. For now, there were wonders to discover and plenty to enjoy before the day took it all away.
At about the same time that David rolled down his driveway, Tom clipped in with his left foot and hurried along his concrete driveway, losing control of his bike and over shooting the footpath. Cursing the cold and executing an awkward, clumsy left hand turn onto Military Road, simultaneously and unsuccessfully attempting to clip in his right foot. Not bothering to look where he was going and totally unaware that a black four wheel drive failed in its attempt to run him down.
David was in no rush. Deliberately riding slow just because he could. He had only recently discovered slow cycling, a simple pleasure like no other. One that was enjoyed only by the knowing, privileged few who were acutely aware of its addiction.
He was now leaving Aldgate which would transform into Stirling in a blink of the eye. No need for haste today. Monday meant a free day in Daivid’s world. Everything looked wonderful to his eyes this morning, his senses alert and attuned, seeing everything and missing nothing, taking in the details with an unquenchable thirst.
Tom was always late and always in a rush, only half prepared and often leaving his spare tube and food behind on the kitchen table. Today was no exception.
The morning itself seemed to take affront to his presence and dismissive attitude towards its beauty and kindly introduced a head wind as a just reward for his ignorance.
David turned away from Stirling happily rolling on towards Lofty. Taking his time and stopping every now again to soak in the wonders that opened up before him. He sincerely wished the morning would not grow up to become day, breaking the magic spell that had engulfed him.
There always seemed to be a head wind when you rode a bike, thought Tom. Punctures also were par for the course, he always managed two on every ride while everyone else seemed to escape the curse. He could’t work that one out.
He was in a mad rush to get to Outer Harbor in time to catch the fast bunch that met there every Monday morning and hammered all the way to Glenelg. They didn’t stop for anyone, not even traffic lights, gave way to no one and showed no respect for any other road user. Driven by a futile and ill considered notion that this form of ‘effort’ produced ‘results’ and made one a superior athlete. The only product of such activity however, was to produce a real road menace and give every cyclist a bad name. Tom thought it exciting, it made him feel like a real cyclist in his mind, which when translated, meant a fast cyclist.
It was getting warmer, not by much, but noticeable, thought David. A signal that the day would eventually become very warm by mid afternoon. He had the day planned for once. Arrive at the gallery by 11.30, then a long, hot shower, change into the new clothes that Annie had bought him in celebration of a recent large sale. Some small talk catching up on the latest news doing the rounds of the galleries, then lunch at the State Gallery before seeing the recent acquisitions and the exhibition of contemporary Australian craft that Annie had been eagerly waiting for. David was not that interested in ceramics or jewelry, but he did have a curious interest in what Annie found so fascinating about Stephen Bird’s naughty and witty Adam & Eve I & II. Annie was also interested in seeing the work by a group of Adelaide ceramists Gus Clutterbuck, Stephanie James-Manttan and Maria Parmenter.
With no interest in anything other than his own whining, paying no attention to what was going on around him, Tom once again failed to notice a black car approaching him fast down a side street to his left. If both continued on their current course they might well reach the junction of the two roads at the same time.
The car had no intention of stopping, for it too was in a hurry and full of intent. The same black four wheel drive that almost collected Tom when he left his house 45 minutes ago. Tom just caught the car out of the corner of his eye and pulled hard on both brakes, locking up his back wheel and squealing to a very unsteady and awkward stop . It was close again, very close.
‘You fucking moron!’ He screamed at the car. ‘Why don’t you watch where your going, you fuck wit!’ He yelled loudly while gesturing with some vigorous hand and finger waving. The car continued on as if nothing happened. But Tom was very angry. Still swearing loudly as he began to ride faster, adrenalin now pumping through him. Tom noticed that the black four wheel drive had stopped about a kilometer down the road. He smiled to himself and decided to catch up with the driver and let him know just what a real bastard he was.
Mother nature again responded to this unpleasant disruption to the morning by strengthening the head wind.
When Tom reached the car, he was out of breath and out of luck. No driver to be seen anywhere. ‘You bastard!’ He was so furious as he rode off he dragged his house key along the side of the shinny black four wheel drive.
Thirty seconds later the black car moved away from the curb and slowly followed Tom from a discrete distance.
David hadn’t made much progress. Too much to see and absorb for a creative mind. He loved the Adelaide hills and saw masterpieces of art everywhere while he recorded quick sketches in a Moleskine sketchbook.
Tom was still in a hurry with no concern to the world around him nor did he recognized the beauty he rushed past. The black car had kept its distance, waiting patiently for the right moment. Then the car accelerated alarmingly, unnoticed by Tom, or anyone else and was now speeding straight towards the back of the solitary cyclist. It hit him at well over 100 kph and didn’t stop.