I’ve bought the pedometer (20,070 steps yesterday), the bicycle monitor, the bathroom scales (15st this morning). Once again I’ve started walking almost everywhere, instead of using the bus. I’ve restricted my diet to properly sized portions. I’m working towards eating fruit again (the last time was a couple of months ago). This morning I’m off on my first cycle ride of the year, in less than pleasant conditions. Clearly, my New Year’s Resolutions are still intact.
I’ll be riding with an old pal this morning. He’ll be riding the same type of bike as me, a basic point and go number. He’s likely to sartorially similar too. We’re not the sort of people who cover ourselves in a figure hugging suit and ride at the speed of les peletons on a Sunday morning rather than lying in bed with our wives. What is wrong with those guys? You know the ones I’m talking about: the middle-aged men in lycra or mamils for short. You don’t need to be a psychotherapist to know that they’ve got issues. Any man who shaves his legs for anything other than sexual reasons has got some pretty serious problems. Who cares if you can ride at 39mph or 40mph? What difference does it make.
Call it pedal envy but I think these cyclists, who always ride in a tight pack as if they are on television, give the rest of us a bad name. They hog a road in much the same that an articulated lorry does. They look every bit the wanker that anyone driver a 4×4 in an large urban area does. If they really cared about aerodynamics that much, they would ride a recumbent bicycle. I used to have one of these and boy, could it zip along. It was a pleasure to ride too. Trouble was it wasn’t so great in traffic.
The best way to cope with lots of traffic is the safety derived from numbers. Once you’ve got a critical mass, bright colours and lights aresn’t so critical. Much as though I enjoy riding, the idea of going out on a mass ride with lots of super fit people makes me reach for the bucket. One or two riders is a good number, for conviviliality perhaps three or four. Five or six is doable but once you get above that, it has turned into a club. Whether cycling, walking or swimming, I don’t want to feel the need for safety in numbers. I want to feel the freedom that my able body gives me, the road underneath spinning by, the muddy path or the splash of water. Not competing with anyone. I will never, repeat never, wear lycra.