The simple pleasure of riding a bike…

After a crazy week with Lance Armstrong finally being outed by the USADA and melee of commentary on pro-cycling and dopers I went out on my bike.

As much as I love pro-cycling, I love riding my bike even more, much, much more in fact.

Yesterday morning I arranged to go out riding with one of my best friends. It was 5 degrees outside as I got ready and outside my window the ground was damp and greasy looking.

I had intended to ride my lovely new Stoemper but having just cleaned it, I couldn’t face getting it filthy so got my trusty NeilPryde out of the garage instead.

Some air in the tyres and oil on the chain, a couple of full drink bottles, my mini pump, some gels and my inhaler and I kitted up to go.

It was a 40 minute ride to our meeting point but within a few minutes, my mind had left all of the hullabaloo behind and I was thinking about my ride.

Oh it is a bit chilly this morning

Gosh it’s nice to be riding this bike again, I do love it

I wonder which way I should ride to the meeting point – the “flatter” way (that’s longer) or the steeper way (that’s shorter and so most often chosen). I choose the flatter way as I hadn’t gone that way for a while.

Look at the countryside and the mist

Surprising how many riders are out this morning

More surprising how many have headlights switched on

How long will it take me to get to the meeting point (on a fit day it’s 30 minutes when I’m not fit it’s over 40 minutes)

Once we met up and exchanged our pleasantries – we rolled off. I seem to be just on the edge of having a cold and had cut short a previous days ride to give me a better chance. Warren my riding buddy is a strong rider but we ride well together. I’m definitely slower and he’s in good form, so it was a thorough but thoroughly enjoyable workout.

We rode for just over two hours together before we stopped in the sunshine, had a chat for a few minutes then rode off in separate directions.

It had been a relatively hard ride – 80km and over a 1,000m of climbing by the time I got home. It had been cold and I felt a bit chilled for much of the rest of the day. Whilst I thought I’d rode ok while I was out there, the data said I’d been a bit down on power and speed than some recent rides and I think that’s true.

I’d thoroughly enjoyed Warren’s company and trying to keep up with him around the lanes of Kent. The roads had been damp on the whole but the sun came out near the end and I made it home in time for my afternoon’s family commitments. I didn’t get time to stop and take photos – so these are a couple from my archive.

I didn’t think about pro-cycling at all. I did think about how I love getting out and riding my bike and how I can’t think of any other hobby/recreation/sport that I’d rather spent my time doing. I don’t just love riding my bike either – I love bikes and bike bits, I love the distance you travel and sights you see. I love how anyone can ride a bike if they choose to. I love how you’re powering the machine yourself and all that goes with that. The breathing, the motion, dancing on the pedals, sitting down and rolling, freewheeling, steering & braking. I love the noises your bike makes as you ride it from the noises of the bike on the road to the ones that irritate you like a squeaking pedal.

So don’t let any of the noise in the press dampen your enthusiasm – there are few things better in life than a good bike ride.


Thanks for reading