More things with wheels

They used to ride them between the church service and Sunday dinner, which was more of a late lunch affair than an evening meal.

En famille,” she called it as they rode side-by-side-by-side on the country lane.

He’d yell back, “oh, don’t be so pretentious mother dearest,” never quite knowing whether the wind had caught the irony in his voice and tossed it aside or thrown it in her direction. Father, who he insisted on referring to as “Pater” on their rides, always took that as a cue to ride on ahead, giving in to his competitive spirit without a second thought for the ability of his youthful son or small-boned wife.

Times changed. The son moved on to a red-brick university (which always rankled with his grandfather who gained a double-first at Oxford), and a job in the City. Husband and wife no longer cycled. Even church went out of fashion, along with Sunday dinners which were replaced by pub lunches when the son visited.

The bikes were stowed away alongside handcarts and chicken coops, each with their own story to tell of days gone by. No one ever looked in the dusty old barn any more.

But at certain times of year, when the sun dipped to a precise degree a shaft of light would penetrate and light them up. They’d never be like new again, but they gleamed in a dusty, rusty way and came to life in those brief bursts of sunshine.

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