This photo, by Ashwin Rao, is the prompt for this weekend’s Flash Frenzy challenge…
They lined the street like ladies of the night, though cheaper to hire.
Their shift was over for the day. They were tired, dusty and had chewing-gum stuck in their tyre-treads. Most of all they were saddle-sore, the human equivalent of a migraine. Having someone sit on your head all day does that to you.
They worked in the cultural quarter of Dublin, available for short-term rent to tourists. Now, like men on bar-stools, they unwound by complaining about their day.
Bike Two had been cycled on the wrong side of the road, a common mistake made by tourists. Bike Seven’s rider hadn’t been on a bicycle for thirty years, and had picked him up and carried him around every corner.
Bike Five had got his wheel stuck in the tramlines, and had watched in horror, like Penelope Pitstop tied to a railway track, as the tram bore down upon him. His rider had wrenched him free at the last second.
Bike Four claimed that a truck had backed out in front of him, and he and his rider had had to slide under it. The others laughingly told him that he had seen too many movies, which was a pity, because it had actually happened. Indeed, they had also cycled through a line of washing, but Bike Four decided that there was no point in mentioning that.
Bike One had got a flat tyre. To a bicycle the sensation of this is rather like what a human would feel if one buttock deflated.
They all agreed, though, that Bike Number Three had had the toughest day. He had been ridden through the old part of the city, along cobblestones, and this had driven his head down into his neck as far as his crossbar.