Ready, Steady, Splash…

Surely he won’t do it. Surely, as a man of 23, he’ll see sense.

Surely, realising that bicycles and salt water are uneasy bedfellows, Anton The Fearless will abort. Surely… Oops, too late. He’s picking up speed, pedalling like billy-o along the jetty.

Cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am. But does he think? Is pulling a BMX wheelie into a Norwegian fjord manifest proof of the absence of rational thought? Well, whatever your opinion, it certainly augmented my afternoon. And, really, what’s the worst that could happen?

Deep Fjord Diving

‘I’ve dropped it,’ he cried, surfacing and jangling like a marionette. Oh, that is worse than I’d thought – the bicycle was expensive and new. Anton bobbed up again, treading water where a saddle ought to have been, and spluttered a crackle of obscenities.

‘Quick, dive down before it sinks completely,’ yelled Lewis, helpfully. A furore ensued, magnanimous colleagues leaping headfirst into the depths and wrangling with pressured eardrums.

Alas, it was lost. 35 feet deep into a murky abyss proved too much for any of us; specialist free divers we are not. But wait, what’s this?

Which quick-thinking mastermind has found an anchor? A preposterous idea perhaps, but certainly worth a shot. And there was no rush to leave – Cookie had started modelling a new range of Lawrence of Arabia head towels.

Operation Anchor

Well, you won’t believe this, but on the first cast, more than ten metres down, metal meshed with metal. Surely not. Surely a retrieval mission of this magnitude wouldn’t strike gold on first throw. Surely, given that we’re unskilled buffoons, a BMX would be too lofty a haul. Yet there was no denying that we’d hooked it.

Cookie of Arabia

The exertion commenced; the chain fed through rough hands; the motherlode hove into view. And… Well, I’m dashed. Another bicycle. Rather misshapen, admittedly, but another actual bicycle.

A relic from an English daredevil last summer? Or the result of an unhinged local taking time off from shagging reindeer?

We’ll never know, but you’ll be relieved to know that an hour’s fishing finally paid off – the water-logged bicycle was seen rusting majestically in Suffolk a month later.

To paraphrase Dickens, Anton really ought to be boiled with his own pudding. But one can’t help rather liking him..