I went for a cycle ride at about 6am today – wanted to catch that amazing wispy blue sky before the day opened up properly. Didn’t go very far – just across Walkley and through Bole Hill Park. In the park, I noticed the BMX track… hmmm, nobody about to make a fool of myself in front of except for one solitary dog-walker, and I felt like doing something new, so I swerved onto the track. Amazing just quite how uppy-and-downy those things are, I kept feeling like my mountain bike was too long, it would almost get grounded between dips. But somehow I got around the thing, all except for the last rise where I didn’t quite commit myself enough, hence didn’t have enough intertia to get to the top. I started sliding backwards, had to run swiftly in reverse to keep the bike from toppling onto me. It reminded me very much of the last time I tried something perhaps a little foolish on my bike, 13 years ago when I cycled back from a lecture to find that the local kids had set up a temporary jump on the wasteland next to our house by laying a plank over an upturned bench. I saw it there and was reminded of doing the same thing myself as a kid – fond memories were instantly revived inside me and I turned my bike towards it on the way to the back gate, “one more time for old time’s sake” I told myself. But literally halfway along the plank my mind wavered, “this is quite steep, quite high” I told myself, and I stopped pedalling for a nanosecond. My bike reached the end of the plank and tipped me unceremoniously forward over the edge. I ended up skidding along the grass on my face, which was three-quarters covered in scabs for the next few weeks (reminds me very much of one of the kids in All About Scabs, the book I recently bought for Rowan, but which Lola has adopted as her own).