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Just Riding Along

31 July 1999

I'm riding along this fence line. A strong wind is buffeting me and my backpack (loaded to the gunwales for the next five days). I decide to dismount. As I swing my leg over the bike, a gust comes along and fells me backwards into, and over the fence. Reflexes cause me to grab at the top strand of barbed wire, puncturing my palm. I also drop my bike, pinning my calves to a lower strand of barbed wire while my thighs are now impaled on the top strand.This sequence of events left me, well - trapped. With my shoulders pinned to the ground on the other side of the fence, Hamish leapt to my assistance like a coiled spring - lifting and manoeuvring my body in an attempt to release me. However my thighs were seriously attached to the fence causing him to utter the advice "mate, you're going to have to lose them". After a further struggle I escaped its triffid-like grasp, leaving most of my shorts on the fence and my naked legs bleeding profusely. There was no dignity in the situation - Hamish thoughtfully began inspecting the valley opposite.Strangely, throughout the entire ordeal I had the macabre thought that had it all been on video I would have won an incredibly expensive entertainment system from Fiona Anderson.

Andrew McMillan