Above: The old 'Two Buses Passing at the Same Time' trick!

Mr Pumpy was at speed, just coming off a long, straight decline... and one bus passing another bus is fine... plenty of room... but two buses passing... that's a problem...

"It was like watching an elephant slowly emerge from behind the second bus, Feely," he told me later. "For a moment I couldn't quite comprehend that the bus driver - it was a bus, Feely, not an elephant, as it turned out... that the bus driver could be so... Indian! So I hooked left and skidded a bit and then hit the brakes 'cos I was about to run into a tree, but just stopped in time. I tell ya, Feely, it's getting spooky! Maybe my number is up?"

"Look, mate," I said, "things always come in 'threes', and you've had three near-deaths in the last few days, so nothing to worry about from here on in... I guess."

"You really think so, Feely?" he asked, eyes as big as a wheel hub.

"I do!" I said, mustering up as much positivity as I could, although I was kinda spooked myself - 15 years cycling in Asia with Team Pumpy and we'd had a few close calls, but nothing like this. "We'll take it as a sign and take it easy from here on in, OK?"

"OK, Feely, I feel a lot better now, thanks!" he said.

"OK, let's go!" I said.



"You don't mind leading us into Kohalpur, do you?"

"No worries, mate!" I said. "Just follow my back wheel." And that's what we did.