It should never have happened. Open road. Dead straight. And a beautiful clear day for cycling. We’d been up Mt Heyer—had lunch at the tea-rooms on the way down. I told Stella how I felt about her and I thought she was the one for me. She laughed. Said she’d never believed in ‘the one’ but now she wasn’t so sure.

If we’d taken the rail trail home so much would have been different. But we decided on the shorter route across the flood plain. Nearing the cottage Stella called, ‘race you.’ I took off—thought I was a big winner. Now, when I think about it I’m sure it was just a ruse and she would have been laughing at my competitiveness as the car ploughed into her.

It was three months before she got out of hospital. Though I wasn’t sure she’d ride again I welded a wheel from her spare bike onto the hospital wheelchair to say I thought she would.

A year has passed now. Tomorrow I put the same wheel onto our new custom tandem. We’ve booked the cottage too, but this year we’ll stick to the trail. Take it slow.

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