Cyclejen's Blog

The time next week I will mostly be riding a bike
August 13, 2010, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Cycle Jen Main | Tags: , , , ,

This time next week. Just writing that phrase requires considerable thought and gives pause. It’s been enough to make me attempt to write this entry at least three times already. This time next week, what will you be doing? I can only hope that I’ll be somewhere in France, feet on pedals, wheels on the road. The worst will be over – I will have cycled through the Downs, I will have made it to the ferry on time, I will have not thrown up on the ferry, no punctures, no tears, no broken bones. This is what will happen; it is what must. Perhaps you sense a touch of gravity to these words, but now that the out of office message is on my email at work, it means This Is Real. So Real It Deserves Capitals. Even On Words That Have No Good Reason To Have Capitals In Them.

It’s great, I can be all serious and pretend I’m in a Nike advert or something, all Lycra’d up and significant:

What is my motivation? Redefine my limits. Redefine my outlook. I believe in the morning sunlight and the quiet before the day begins anew. I believe in the climb and that all uphill struggles have their reward. I believe in reaching the top of a hill and looking seriously and thoughtfully at the rising sun whilst a camera pans from a close-up of my face out to the golden landscape. I believe in equating getting up at 6am with superiority. I believe that truth is the burn in my legs, the sweat on my back. I believe in the rocking horizon, the rush of air. I believe I have said something profound if it’s soundtracked to Rob Dougan or whoever the 2010 equivalent is. Rob Dougan probably – he makes some really significant music, man. I believe in gratuitous slo-mo. I’d get some cross-promotion in and believe in cycling being the rhythm and my i|Pod being the dance, if it wasn’t dangerous to cycle with headphones. I believe that the road to come is not as far as the one travelled. I believe that the future is what you make it. Revolutions of the heart, mind and spirit. I believe in reinventing the wheel, but not too much, ok? Just do it.

Right, it didn’t work with Orange, but Nike, go on, buy me some sports equipment or something, thanks.

But in all seriousness, I am feeling pretty serious now. It already saddens me to know that in just over a week this will all be over. What will I do after this? It’s not like I can go round on my bike asking people for money. I get the feeling that might be illegal or, at the very least, result in a few kicks in the head. I like my head. It’s served me well enough so far. What will I do? I have a few really nice routes around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire that I know I will do, and I look forward to doing, just for the sheer hell of it, without thinking about how long it has taken or how fast I am going. I will probably find a way to buy a nicer, shinier bike. I will find other outlets for my writing, because I am pleased to rediscover that I can actually write. But my life has been all about the ride for the last couple of months. It will definitely be weird to no longer have that goal. I may end up pedalling frantically in my sleep or signalling with my right hand every time I want to cross the road. I may have detachment issues about my hi-vis vest and helmet and wear them casually on a night out. This is not good. Flourescent yellow is soooo 2006.

I got some good advice from a colleague regarding the downer I know I will feel when I stop, and that is to keep on cycling. Keep on writing. Do not create a void and there will be nothing to fall into. He should know, he cycled the Andes, for crying out loud. This guy is just one example of the fantastic people who I’ve met and/or got to know better by doing this. Cyclists are a friendly and generous bunch. They’ll wave at you if you pass by them on the road. They’ll offer advice and even bikes. They’ll help you fundraise. They’ll literally push you up some of the steepest hills when you no longer can. Just don’t try to knock them over with your car or drive too close and I promise, you won’t be given the finger. Still, maybe it’s all like a big boy’s club, and they’re nice because I ride. Maybe they won’t let me leave. When I get to Paris I might have a few of my fellow cyclists meet me, not with a ‘well done’, but with ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY HAVE YOU STOPPED? LET’S HEAD ON TO BARCELONA YEEWAAAAH!’ Actually that sounds pretty cool. No wait, the Alps. No it doesn’t.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love you jelly bean. Tomorrow maybe ill say something more profound, but honestly, you’re amazing. Big love Xxxxxx

Comment by lizzie

well, you know. if you want to continue writing about just stuff I shall probably just keep reading. I’m not some sort of freak who just reads blogs about epic charity bike rides. although this is the second one of that persuasion that I have followed. but i do read other stuff too.

no, really…

Comment by helen

Free wheel it all the way down the northern hemisphere! Don’t worry about the aftermath of what to do, you’ll keep cycling, with the glorious knowledge you’ve done it… and you’ll never subject yourself to it again, unless the next time is by ‘motor’cycle πŸ™‚

Best of luck! Love Jode’s x

Comment by Jodie

Dear Jen,

Have you mastered the art of e-mailing from your mobile phone… whilst cycling one handed??? If so we, your adoring blog readers could send you inspirational messages, from our butts on office chairs, whilst you cycle manically to France…

It’s the thought that counts πŸ˜‰

Jodie x

Comment by Jode's

Much appreciated! However, I have one of those regular mobile phones, not one of those new fancy pants email phones. However, when I come back, battered and bruised, they shall make for some good reading! I’ll try and text my sister a few photos to put up on the blog as I’m doing it.

Comment by cyclejen

Good luck! Remember: eat loads, drink loads, and pack some paracetemol for when it all gets too much near the end πŸ™‚

Comment by Woody

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