Some months ago Matt was involved in a near-fatal cycling accident. It had been touch and go for a while, but after 16 weeks of rehabilitation, he was finally ready to get back in the saddle. Bec decided to join him, on the condition their leisurely ride down to the shops was in no way a competition. Matt liked to make things competitive. Bec did not.
Matt: OK, so this isn’t a race, right?
Matt: OK, I’ll put my gloves on anyway, in case I fall off again. I mean, in case I get hit by a car again. I’ll ride on the outside to protect you.
Bec: Protect me from what? We’re going down to the shops, it’s like four kilometres.
Bec: 3.78 what?
Matt: 3.78 kilometres. To the shops. If we go the dirt road way. 5.29 if we go the other way.
Bec: Let’s just go the dirt road way. And let’s go slowly. My bike doesn’t have as many gears as yours and my suspension is so bad that if I go faster than 10km/h I’ll lose an ovary.
Matt: OK, well, we’re only doing 9km/h at the moment so I’m sure you’ll be fine.
Bec: How do you know that?
Matt: My computer thingy. It says how fast we’re going. It also tells the temperature. It’s 24 degrees.
Bec: Why do you need a computer thingy? You’ve only ridden your bike four times in the last six months.
Matt: To tell how fast I’m going. If you know how fast you’re going, you’re always tempted to go a bit faster. Like, if you’re doing 19km/h, you’ll make yourself do 20, so you end up getting fitter.
Bec: Why can’t you just do 19km/h?
Matt: Because 20 is better.
Bec: How fast were you going when you got hit by that car?
Bec: How do you know?
Matt: Because I was looking at the computer thingy.
Bec: Do you think that if you’d been looking at the road instead of the computer thingy you might not have hit the car and come off?
Matt: The car hit ME.
Bec: Of course.
Bec: Truck coming!
Matt: Notice how I didn’t correct you, given it was a car?
Bec: Wow. You’re really good at that.
Matt: How’s your bike going anyway?
Bec: It’s pretty good, even though I got the povvo model. My bike seat feels like a brick with glad wrap over it.
Matt: I told you we should have got the carbon fibre one.
Bec: What’s carbon fibre?
Matt: It’s what they make F1 cars out of.
Bec: I see.
Bec: Does this suspension even work?
Matt: Yes, but not at 9km/h.
Bec: How fast do you have to go to make it work?
Matt: Faster than you can go. Do you want to race?
Bec: We’re not racing.
Matt: OK … Want to see a trick?
Bec: Not really.
Matt: I’ll do a trick.
Matt: *does trick*
Matt: Do you know what that’s called?
Matt: No. You didn’t even see. I’ll do it again.
Matt: *does trick*
Matt: Did you see?
Bec: I saw some pedaling.
Matt: No, I did a bunny hop. Did you see how both wheels came off the ground?
Bec: No. I just thought you were pedaling.
Matt: The wheels came, like, a metre off the ground.
Bec: Are you now running me off the road on purpose?
Matt: A little bit.
Bec: Are you trying to run me off the road because I didn’t like your trick?
Bec: Did you have any friends growing up?
Matt: I had heaps of friends.
Bec: How are those gloves working for you? Worth the $1500 you paid for them?
Matt: They’re made from Kevlar. I think they’re actually, literally bullet proof.
Bec: Tell me again about how you were in the chess club in high school.