So where do we begin? Overweight? Working too hard? Can’t run without getting out of breath?
Yep, that’s where.
Bus trip after bus trip after bus trip. How much time have I spent standing at the stop doing nothing?
Along comes the cycle-to-work-scheme. Or at least, my boss says they’ll buy me a bike (I can do some overtime if I want to spend more than £300).
Ebay, reviews, bike shops. Specialized seem OK for a first bike. “Make sure you get at least 105’s” says my friend. What the hell is a 105 I wonder.
Research, groupsets, bids. Lose. Lose again. Regret. Should have gone £20 higher. Eventually I win. Drive to Brighton. Gorgeous blue Specialized Allez Elite. Yep, Shimano 105.
And that’s when it really starts. Pedals slowly turning. Walk up the steep hills. 9 miles to work. Give the legs a breather. Next week, we go again.
1032 km for the year. Not too bad. But then winter comes and it’s dark and I don’t want to buy lights or ride in the cold. So the bike goes away and the legs disappear.
But February hits and it’s riding time again. And there have been gym sessions every week since Christmas. Swimming and weights and running. And instead of 15 km/hr it’s 18, then 20, then 22, then 26.
And as the weight drops and the muscles grow and life just gets better, and as I stare at the driver’s when I overtake them in their clunky unmoving cars, I know what it means:
The emptiness of those lives shocks me.
It doesn’t take long. I haven’t raced yet, but I’m a racer.
I’m 29 but it doesn’t matter. I am on my bike. Riding. And I will race.