Sunday, 30 June 2013

Cycling - You might as well join us

In the last 15 miles of the Wiggle Long One chap drew up next to me and started chatting. He was obviously in far better shape than me, as I was at a level where primitive grunting was as good as it got. This worked for both of us as he was happy to talk about himself, and I grunted occasionally.
He shared his own cycling creation myth. All of us who discover the sport in middle age kind of have one. However its not often that they start 'I got banned from driving, best thing that ever happened to me.' At the time I was quickly fatigued by his tale of jumped red lights and mobile phone abuse behind the wheel. As the road rose I took the opportunity to let him drop me.
Though part of his story did resonate. I remember it being a fiercely hot day about 8 years ago. I was driving between Bromley and Woolwich for work. It is one of those stretches with lots if lights and even more cars. I noticed a cyclist a a junction, I over took then at the next set he was back again. This kept repeating itself. At some point my thoughts moved from 'begone you impudent cur' to 'he's going as fast as me, he's not burning petrol, he's in the fresh air with the sun in his back, he's not stressed and flustered, I used to ride a bike, I quite liked riding a bike, I could get a bike.'