zen and the art of roller coaster riding

Tomorrow I make the journey from the midlands of England into old London town. And before I go I will make sure that my legs and butt muscles have been worked and stretched, my arms firm and strong, my reflexes cat-like.

For I will be taking the Red Rose bus ride to Tring station.

The journey from Tring proper to Tring railway station is approximately ten minutes on the bus, or about a forty-five minute walk. The ride takes you from Miswell Lane, through the Trign High Street, then out on Station Road. If you get the 387 peachy orange and red bus along this route, then sit back and look out and enjoy the lush and tranquil scenery of the British Midlands.

But then there is the small red thirty or so seater, that brings an all new meaning to the word “suspension”. And if this little devil is being driven by – let’s call him Garry – then, Ladies and Gentlefolk – welcome to the Bus O’ Doom!

Our Garry is rather fond of his Daily Mail newspaper, and driving buses for Red Rose is purely an inconvenience cutting into his reading time. It has been my experience that rather than run to schedule, Our Garry will leave a little later and floor it down the Station Road straight. Station Road is not known for it’s pristine condition. Ad to that the little red devils only casual relationship with any form of suspension, and you better well have done your morning exercises.

The last time I took this journey I was thrown out of my seat four times on this 1 mile stretch of road, so desperate was Our Garry to get to the terminus to get his next cerebral hit from his favourite newspaper. I held on like I was riding a mechanical bull. I could see Our Garry looking at me in the rear vision mirror. The more I tried to hang on for dear life, the more he put his peddle to the metal. I say give me a southern style rodeo and a half angry bull, and I’ll ride him ’till he is plumb tuckered out. Lord knows I’ve had the practice.

Oh, but word of warning. Make sure your bladder is empty before boarding. Take it from one who knows.

That’s all I’m saying.

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