There is no other sound like it.
It is the sound of a deflated bicycle tyre labouring over a tiled section of pavement. It is not a sound you particularly want to hear at 5:27 am, on a dark, bitterly cold Wednesday morning, with a gale once again whipping in from the sea.
All you can really do is sigh heavily, return your steed to the the bike rack, and plan your next move.
The easy option would be to go back indoors, and go back to bed. I chose something else. I chose “schtoopid”!
And so it came to pass that approximately three and one half minutes later I was barrelling down the bike path on The Red Thing, my spare, my winter bike. The Red Thing, a home-built single-speed monster, only ever tamed and ridden by the crazed hand that created it.
The Red Thing, with its greatly reduced gearing, for thrashing through snow and mud. The Red Thing, proudly sporting studded snow tyres with a tread so deep you could park a small family car comfortably out of sight in there.
The Red Thing, ridiculously inappropriate for dry asphalt and storm force winds. Ridiculously inappropriate, but tremendous fun.
An hour later I was back at home – happy, sweaty, exhausted, and ravenously hungry. Time to raid the fridge.
I was able to put together this international combination, a truly wonderful Paleo start to the day in the spirit of cross-border co-operation.
Italian ham, Swedish venison cooked in selected Indian spices, Swedish eggs, fried just the way I like ’em in a splash of Spanish olive oil, and to wash it all down, a gorgeous pot of Chinese Pu-Erh tea.
Who said globalization was necessarily a bad thing?