real life cycling

The world, my oyster

Quality Roads

It’s a plod, at best.

Cadence is low.

Mind flitting from thought to thought, a-wandering, a depressed butterfly for whom no flower is quite right. One of maybe four perfect weather days we’ll get all year and I’m having one of the off-est off days since records began.

Following my nose, no set route, this could go either way.

Scenario A sees me forty miles into Cumbria a slice of the famous rarebit from Wilf’s café and a tailwind home. Sated and satisfied, worked out, and in favourable calorie deficit. Scenario B is a twenty-mile loop, usual roads, nothing to see here, get on with your day.

I’m teetering.

Then he appears, from behind, at pace.

cipollini bondThe very vision of positivity pedalling hard on a camo Cipollini Bond, matching bar tape and saddle, green and Fluro Ale kit, fancy Fi:zik shoes, offering his wheel with a: “jump on if you like, lad!”

“Oh great, I think,” rolling my weary eyes, “there goes my solitude.”

I jump on all the same.

It’s the done thing.

After beating myself with a mental stick for five miles I’ve found my carrot. Or rather my carrot has found me. A tanned, camouflaged carrot, with a perky cadence and a tempting slipstream.

I’ve a got a reason to ride; a wheel in the foreground and a rarebit in the distance. Mojo located I warm to the task. We nip through temporary traffic lights, beating the queues, and weave past the plodders with an “ow do” and a feeling of healthy superiority.

I take my turns on the front – I’m faster than he thought I was – and a bond is formed in the sharing of workload and gauging of effort. We make small talk. My legs are loose and my engine is warm.

“You going far?” I ask.

“Hundred plus,” he replies, “you?”


He peels off left, I peel off right, the world, my oyster.

4 comments on “The world, my oyster

  1. Beautifully written … I like this. Katie


  2. sounds wonderful, glad you found your legs


  3. I much prefer riding on my own, at my pace.


  4. Pingback: Steal the traffic cone, fall into the canal, and ride the Bianchi – road|THEORY

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