Having survived my first ever twitter storm – naturally, I decided that I needed more peril in my life and so I broke one my cardinal rules and took Sam and Paddy quad biking.
Some friends of mine invited me and because Nikki had already completed said activity and route yesterday, how could I refuse and what could possibly go wrong?
En-route to the notoriously dangerous machines, I announced that I was adopting a British Airways approach to the day; namely that safety was my top priority. Unlike on a plane when I give only cursory attention to the safety procedures and even then, only out of politeness, I was all ears for the safety features of these vehicles (there are none btw) and the talk of how to survive using a quad bike (death trap) which for some reason, I had just hired.
…moments later when I rolled the bloody machine sideways off a hill, my life flashes before me. And with Paddy on board, too – meaning that if I do survive this utter disaster, I will need to face his mum on our return.
The details and my recall of this nightmare are scant as adrenalin floods my system but lying on my back with the bike about to roll on to us both, I managed to get my foot on to the under-carriage of the machine to keep it off us and to help propel the evil monster on it’s way down the hill.
Lying now on my back and in thick undergrowth, my mind is a daze (this is not uncommon). Paddy has the good sense to shout out immediately that he is okay – and on this, my mind turns to myself and whether or not I have broken my wrist. It is cut quite badly and I think I can see bone – which I have experience of since my child scooter incident which I chronicled on this site in a previous blog for those interested and also in Eclipsed I think.
After a quick examination, it is apparent that I am in tact – if very shaken and bruised – and by now, the professionals have recovered the wretched vehicle which means that I now have no option but to re-straddle the death machine and continue. Paddy too, must face his fears but now with no confidence whatever in his driver. From here-on-in, my entire focus is on survival only as I sit on the growling best. Next to my left leg, I notice a sticker on the beast for the first time… “Improper use of vehicle can result in serious injury and even DEATH.” The word death is actually capitalised which is unnecessary because I am in no doubt of this whatever.
My wrist is aching and my confidence is shot. I hate the whole experience; only marginally outdone by doing my best opening joke on stage to complete silence.
As I ride along (resentfully) – my attention wanders to the benign fairways where I should be right now. Even in the rough or in a bunker. Or in the trees searching for my bloody ball. Playing golf can be heart breaking but there is little chance of being killed.
And finally, we emerge from the hills and the un-level terrain and my terror finally abates. I have survived. Paddy is okay also; he doesn’t have a scratch on him and so the inquest from his mum will be bearable also.
The man who runs the business looks delighted also as I clamber off his machine and I look to the skies the way a footballer does after he has scored. My friends enquire to the instructor if this has ever happened before?
Never, he says. Sometimes, we get the odd crash. But never as bad as that.
And now for the unexpected upside…
A massive cuddle from Paddy!
Just so relieved to be alive, he hugs his dad tightly. As my youngest and last child, Paddy has had to endure way more cuddles and silliness from me than any of his older brothers which means that he now has a general rule that I am not allowed anywhere near him. And fair enough.
So to have him throw his arms around me is heartening and gratifying.
I thank the instructor and I am sure he is not offended when I explain that he will never see me again because my quad biking days started and ended today.
Finally, a word on my prior hazards this week as the twitter mob rounded on me. I need to report a huge spike in sales of Eclipsed. Not that I can retire or anything. My books sales represent beer money at best but still, the spike is heartening and very welcome. My hope being that if the current crop of new readers of Eclipsed enjoy the book, that they might review it on-line – the book gets noticed and finally takes off and the beer money will grow and be sufficient even if I develop a severe drink problem – which might happen if anyone ever suggests to me quad biking again.
And if this does occur, then the success of Eclipsed or any of my books will down in part to the twitter mob. And wouldn’t this be a beautiful reposte?
And finally, although this post is not so long – it has taken me longer to write than usual. And why? Perhaps because I am still in shock but mostly because I have had to type the bloody thing with only one hand!
19 thoughts on “I will survive…”
Hi, I’m a motorbike driver, and it’s extremely dangerous, people tell me I’m crazy, but it’s not true. on the track you have to be able to use this “madness” at certain times, so you have to be smart and use the maximum precautions such as the airbags inside the suits, sorry for my ugly English, greetings from Italy!
Stick to the golf,eh Dominic!!
But seriously,glad you both came to no harm. And,a hug from your youngest is no bad thing!
I am glad that you and your son are ok!
As I read, I kept asking myself “what the hell is a quad bike?” (I’m American) So I, like all good children of the 80s/90s turned to google. “Oh! It’s just a four wheeler!” To be fair, I hate driving those things because I never feel like I’m in control. I would never have driven one on a hill. I hope everyone enjoys Eclipsed as much as I am!
Really enjoyed your tale; it made me laugh; especially the bit about Paddy not usually allowing you anywhere near him! Thankfully no (serious) damage was done.
I so enjoy your writing – long may it continue
I am an American also, so I was about to Google what is a quad bike, but my daughter informed me it means 4. (Duh! I should know this I’m a teacher). We call them 4 wheelers! Grew up with them but never attempted to drive them down hills! We weren’t allowed to!! Glad to hear that you and Paddy are fine! I thoroughly enjoy your writing! Keep it coming!!
Quads or ATVs as we call them in Canada are extremely dangerous. I am assured by people who sell them that they are safe if used properly. However, they aren’t meant for uphill/downhill/uneven ground travel at high speeds. This is the exactly how people ride them. Add alcohol to the picture and death is common. “Sleds” or snowmobiles in Canadian winters offer up similar injuries/death tolls. I am so glad that you are okay.
I love your story. So well written ( for one hand… ), and glad your both ok. I read your book and enjoyed it. I don’t bother with Twitter myself but it’s clear you have a close family so that’s the most important thing. DD.
Good to hear you & paddy are both alright
I’m sure the Keyboard warriors of Twitter
Are already picking on somebody else by now ,
May they do as well in life as you & your beautiful family , here’s to many more books sales …
Oh my goodness! Relieved to hear you are both ok; it must have been so frightening. We had a similar experience in America some years ago when my husband and I managed to flip over on a snow mobile. Thankfully we were both fine but the reaction of our Guns n Roses lookalike guide as my husband was lying face down in the snow? ‘Awesome dudes’ !!!
If it wasn’t for the twitter mob (and your son Tom) I wouldn’t have discovered you (but I’m also in the US, so…)! I like how you often manage to mention Eclipsed at the end of your blogs. I would go out and buy it except I have two other books I need to finish first. I promise to go get it after I finish my other two. I really enjoy your writing! And glad you and Paddy are ok!
always an upside to these things and I hope that one day I don’t need to rely on the hate mongers to gain notice for my books. Thank you.
Our entire family (I am the Grandmother) ride quads/4 wheelers. And yep this lady flipped hers once and broke her thumb…. bless the gloves, helmet, and heavy clothes I had on. My 4 year old and 7 year old Grandsons put me to shame with their fearless riding of these dangerous if used incorrectly machines. Glad you tried it! Did you ever try kayaking? My favorite activity!!
On kayaking, I must profoundly disagree. I think it is because my base requirement in life is comfort and sitting in a kayak is the opposite of comfort.
I do so like my creature comforts but kayaking on lakes is so beautiful. And yes give me a comfy couch and a good book and I am in heaven!
I love the way you write and your story was great. Great content!
thank you, when I was at school, I failed English language and was told by various teachers that my writing was poor – so to enjoy writing so much now and seeming to have people’s approval is very gratifying and a lesson perhaps for parents whose kids might not be at the top of the class.
Terrifying experience with your son in tow too! Glad you and Paddy are okay. I have a two year old kid and I can’t wait to get on adventures with him. I love how you write! I hope the bookshops in our country would sell your book; would definitely get a copy. Greetings from the Philippines. ❤️
Greeting received. Thank you.