PREFACE: Jeremy and I have raced our Raleigh 20’s at the McLeans 6-hour Mountain Bike Race a number of times now and one of those years, we won Best Dressed, receiving a free pair of Merrell shoes each. Woo!
Which reminds me of a true story* I heard once ..
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of the parties.
A friend of mine (let’s call him "Reverend Green") has a friend (let’s call him "Colonel Mustard") who has recently built a new house on a rear section in Christchurch. It has a very nice new asphalt driveway. Colonel Mustard had been working out of town for six weeks, and one weekend he was back in Christchurch for a couple of days. Reverend Green picked him up from the airport, and dropped him off at his house to pick up his motorbike so he had transport for the weekend. Colonel Mustard is a keen motorcyclist and owns a big Yamaha 1200cc touring bike. (Specs for those who are interested: 1200cc producing 130 HP (or about the same power output as a Toyota Corolla), weighing 260kg, and with a reputation for producing significant torque in the low rev range.)
Colonel Mustard tried to start the bike, but having been sitting idle for 6 weeks, the battery was flat. So Colonel Mustard and Reverend Green decided to push start it down the new asphalt driveway. Colonel Mustard took the handlebars, pulling the clutch in with one hand, and taking hold of the throttle with the other, and began pushing from beside the bike. Reverend Green took hold of the rear of the bike, and, keeping downward pressure on the rear wheel so that it didn’t skid when the clutch was let out, also began pushing. Together, they quickly gained enough speed and Colonel Mustard let the clutch out. To their surprise, the engine (and 130 horsepower’s worth of low end torque) started immediately. This then kicked off a slightly unfortunate chain of events.
The bike immediately began accelerating. Colonel Mustard, not being astride the bike, and having a large bike accelerating away from him, could not reach the clutch lever. The rapidly speeding bike (now with the front wheel well in the air) wound his throttle hand the wrong way, further increasing 130 horsepower’s worth of acceleration, as 260 kg worth of motorcycle rapidly made its way down the new asphalt driveway.
As a bike accelerated, Reverend Green, applying downward pressure, suddenly found his body position change from being upright, into more of a ‘superman’ style posture. Reverend Green, who happened to be wearing a brand new pair of Merrell shoes, suddenly found the new asphalt driveway grinding holes in the tops of his new shoes. As the bike accelerated and the front wheel went further into the air his body progressively became more horizontal, and his knee length shorts then came into contact with the driveway. These shorts and the undergarments beneath both had elasticated waist bands. Upon contact with the driveway, the elastic stretched, and the garments rapidly made their way down Reverend Green’s legs, resulting in a distinct lack of fabric protection for some of the sensitive parts of Reverend Green’s anatomy. This, combined with the abrasive nature of the new asphalt driveway, resulted in yet more grazing of the skin of poor Reverend Green.
During this unfortunate sequence of events, both Reverend Green and Colonel Mustard realised they had some decisions to make, namely whether to keep holding on or not. Upon the removal of his trousers and subsequent body contact with the asphalt, Reverend Green made the wise decision to let go. About the same time, Colonel Mustard made the same decision.
The speeding bike briefly stayed upright, then crashed to one side, sliding along, destroying the plastic farings, breaking the lights, and scraping the side of the bike along the driveway. The elderly neighbour, hearing the commotion, raised his head over the fence to see what was going on. He was greeted with an unexpected sight: a smashed motorbike lying at the end of a trail of scrapes and broken pieces, and two injured men, lying face down on the driveway, groaning in pain, one without any trousers on.
Slightly off topic, but I still enjoy wearing the Merrell shoes I won at the bike race. I never saw Jeremy wear his though.