05 June 2020

Brief encounter with a bike computer

I was on my daily run, and was about to open one of the many gates I encounter. (I am getting very good at doing that without using my hands.) I noticed something on the floor! And it looked so specific I picked it up. It was a bike computer! Someone must have dropped it. I took it with me. And when I got home I posted on the village Facebook page. I asked if someone had last a bike computer at that location, and I made sure to not describe it. The general trick to avoid people having a punt and claiming it is theirs when it isn't! And then I figured I just wait.

Only minutes later I saw I had FB alerts. And I checked. A woman had tagged me. She had seen both my post, and a post by a man who had posted writing in the same 10 minute window as me, asking if someone had found his Cateye bike computer. Bingo! I was glad this woman had seen both posts. Although I think I would have checked the village page often enough to see it myself. But anyway; now it was time to make contact. It was indeed a Cateye so it was clearly his! He suggested he come pick it up right away. Fin with me! And minutes later he was knocking on the door.

I was a bit disappointed he had not biked! But hey ho. He had clearly already been out on the bike today. We had a small chat. He was glad to get the device back! And he said he had been biking lots since lockdown. And I could tell. But how? I hadn't met him before!

This man turned out to be a local celebrity! I had been able to tell from his profile picture. So what had he done? Well! He had got engaged in Red Nose Day. It's an institution in the UK. I hadn't heard of it before moving here! It's an annual big event (since 1985) with the goal to raise lots of money to fight child poverty, both in the UK and abroad. You get lots of celebrities do stuff, and the general public donating money. In 1986 the concept of the 'red nose day single' was also born; this was the famous collaboration of Cliff Richard with the Young Ones. I had no idea it was for charity but I loved it at the time! I was just the right age I suppose. And this format has been followed since! Unlikely musical performances, some of which lip-synced. Miles Jupp has once done a Keith Flint impersonation, for instance. And another famous performance was Peter Kay lip-syncing to 'the way to Amarillo', on a treadmill, and in front of a green screen, in 2005.

This year, a new version would be released. They used the original footage of Peter Kay but they would put different images in the background. And the public was asked to send in material. And the focus would be, of course, on essential workers like NHS workers and rubbish collectors. But anyone could send something in. And the man with the loose bike computer had been channeling Peter Kay himself (with wicked dance moves!) in nearby town Tregarth. His version had not made it to the official video, unfortunately! But he'd given it a try, with panache. And I had seen it, and recognised him. But he had had a haircut (a DIY one, one presumes) and he was noticeably sleeker. All that biking has had effect! And now, thanks to social media, he had his bike computer back mere hours after losing it. And now he can keep biking, and gather data about it (I understand! I am a geek myself), and become the fastest biker in Tregarth! I like it when things come together...

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