Cyclejen's Blog

Push it to the limit (limmmiiiiiiittt!)
May 27, 2010, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Cycle Jen Main | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Guess what? I cycled to the shops the other day and it was easy. I tackled an incline and did not break a sweat. I can confidently change down gears when nearing traffic lights. I can turn right!

I also still have 40 year old men nonchalantly whizzing by me at 200mph. Damn you, you and your thin tyres and thighs of steel. You and your white hair and white shorts. You are making me feel bad! I swear these guys who cycle past me with such ease probably cycle 300 miles and then stop for breakfast. They’ve probably just cycled in from their daily commute from goddamn Penzance, and then finish that off with a nice, relaxing gym sesh. God. I read a book about people like that once. I think it was called American Psycho. Ah, who am I kidding, these are healthy men, only slightly unbalanced by their desire to ride out middle age. And it’s not their fault that I can’t help but compare my capabilities to that of Lance Armstrong, just because I’ve finally got my seat at the right height and have learnt better pedal technique. Tour de France? Pfft! That’s only like, 2,200 miles. You try the Tour de Londres a Paris. It’s waaay harder.

I understand that sounds a touch bitter. But these are 40 year old men and I’m in the Prime of my Youth (TM). I really should be running circles around them! So here’s where the confession begins. I am very lazy. One of my favourite activities is sleeping. Before this, on Saturday mornings I did not get up and Get Things Done. I slept, and I enjoyed it. I’d watch tv with a bowl of cereal, scrap that, with a PACKET OF CRISPS, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. I would spend evenings surfing the internet and watching episodes of Star Trek and go to bed with feelings of guilt and a promise to do something more productive tomorrow, like start to write that novel or cure CF. Little things.

I won’t deny that the constant need to be doing things, yet lacking the outright self-motivation to do it off the bat, has been part of the reason for signing up for the bike ride. I’ve got to do it now – there’s no turning back. There’s no ‘I can’t be bothered’. Between now and August I will be cycling and that’s that. My only hope is that once I hit the finish line I won’t be finished. Will I carry on cycling once there is no longer a specific reason to do so? Or will I have to promise to cycle to Australia, just to keep up the momentum? Will the bike go rusty in the shed or will I cycle as the weather gets colder, keeping up the pace with the 40 year old men? All I know is that I enjoy cycling – its solitary nature, the rush of wind in my face, the rocking horizon. I won’t be cycling through snow though. I’m not that insane. Oh, I did once when I was at university. I started off in the bright blue and 2 miles later I was a pedaling white blob, a 2 wheeled snowflake. Not recommended!

And yet these men, and let’s face it, they usually are men, would probably see a 2ft snow drift outside their window and, unlike any sane person, would think ‘well, that’s going to add, what? 10 minutes on to my journey – better put on some thermals! A blizzard is not a warning, it’s a challenge! Once I’ve downed this protein shake, I’ll put some Phil Collins on the iPod and I’m good to go! LET’S DO THIS!’

…Yeah. No matter what happens, I’m digging out £1.50 for the bus, thanks.