DNF

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(Actually, we did both finish.  But you can't let the facts get in the way of a good yarn)

 

We did the Selby Bike Ride, Flatfoot Sam and me;

We thought we’d raise a bob or two for children’s charity.

It’s called the Candlelighters and worthy of our quids,

Supporting those with cancer – a horrid thing for kids.

 

The other cyclists looked real pro in Spandex they’d all have

While Sam and me stood out a mile – a scuzzie and a chav.

“But never mind the lycra and racing bikes they’ve got”,

I said to Sam with confidence.  We’d show ‘em what was what.

 

So thus began Le Grand Depart; we started at the front

But by the mile mark found we were no longer in the hunt.

They passed us like marauding beasts, as wolves might in a pack

And by two miles our game plan saw us move straight to the back.

“Well never mind” I said to Sam, now gasping for my breath

“It’s not so bad to finish last – but never DNF”.

 

Then shortly past the halfway point we lost sight of the rest

“The danger now is getting lost” embarrassed, I confessed.

But luckily things turned out right with marshals on the way

Who guided us towards the end. We’d finish, come what may!

 

But then a little setback – I punctured my back tyre;

With eight miles left to finish The Fates met to conspire.

They reckoned without Coopey, though, who, with his dying breath,

Would get across that finish line – and never DNF.

I opened up the toolkit that I carry everywhere

And with replacement inner tube made good a bodge repair.

So onward with the pedalling despite the oily grime

I smeared across my handlebars and costly loss of time.

 

But then with just a mile to go, buoyed by adrenalin

The Fates would strike a second time. The Fates began to grin.

The bike began to wobble. “It can’t be! Not again”

This would test the patience of much weaker, lesser men.

The bloody tyre had gone again – The Lousy Fates’ cruel sting.

Sam asks me, “What’s the plan now, dad?”  “I’ll push the bloody thing!”

 

So thus Sam made the finish line with me her albatross;

She cycled home to glory, me pushing mine across.

The PA crackled loudly then (I’d rather I’d been deaf)

“Sam Coopey – three hours twenty. John Coopey – DNF”.

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