In June 1941, Hitler stood in front of his dark Generals and ordered the opening of a second front and attacked the Soviet Union. At first, the German forces made rapid progress and his orders seemed a good idea. But the cold winters ahead and the resilience of the Russian army, cost the lives of millions. Not a great speech.
After the battle of Pharsalus, Caesar pardoned one Mr. Marcus Junius Brutus. Marcus was sentenced to a rightful death, but Caesar said let him go. Bad call. On March 15 (the next year), 44 B.C., he stabbed Caesar to death as he entered a Senate meeting, knifed him over 20 times. Some might say “I Caesar, pardon you Brutus” was a very poor sentence.
There have been many regretful statements over time:
“Are you sure you didn’t see an iceberg?” and
“No don’t worry about landing, I just want to learn how to take off…”
All are terrible, but they are not the worst. I was not there to witness the words spoken. The author had three friends out cycling this particular afternoon, and it is to each of this trio; I have had the dialogue related.
These four bikers all entered cycling late from others sports, but over the past winters had gained the necessary experience and knowledge to be called ‘cyclists’. A few thousand miles later, cornering and climbing becoming easier and smoother. Not the complete ‘roadman’ seasoned with racing, but spinning the right gear and helmet on straight.
On this morning they had abandoned traffic and explored a canal tow path, safe from the hurry and hazards of road cycling. A skiff of rain was clouding the view and each in turn, reached to the rear pocket for an emergency garment. It was here that ‘it’ was spoken. I must confess it took me a while to take it in and picture the intensity of the statement.
The first cycling friend recounted it to me from ward four of the local hospital, the second from his mother’s house, as he had moved back for a while to recuperate.
“Seriously”, he said
“Your man said to me,
– Can you hold my bars and steer for a minute while I get my rain cape out?”