A wrong turn in the right direction

As Steve pointed out in his blog Blood, sweat and gears, we are a bunch of amateur cyclists. When I think about myself, I’d like to refine the term ‘amateur’ a little. I’m someone who cycled up and down the gravelled road near my home on my treasured* golden Raleigh Chopper bike in the 80’s. That’s about it, not much cycling since.

With our Tour de Playgroup challenge rapidly approaching, I thought I should do some proper cycling last weekend. Since we were planning to visit family in East Chiltington, Sussex, I thought I might just cycle down there (about 70k). Well, I put on my non-padded non-cycling leggings, my ridiculous knitted jumper, set Google maps on my phone along with my earphones (that’s crucial as I can easily get lost, if not on the road than in my own thoughts) and off I went.

What started off as a long lonely ride, turned into something else when after about two turns I found myself in the middle of the London to Brighton Charity Ride with over two thousand participants. Google maps stopped telling me where to go after about 5 minutes so I decided to “blend in” and go with the flow. I instantly felt very cool cycling with pros on their shiny bikes and whenever one went past me I got compliments like “well done girl!!!” etc. It was a stupidly long time until it started looming that I had joined in the race with the front-runners, however, it didn’t take so long until, at one point I was even overtaken by a woman on a folding bike.

*treasured until my brother nicked it for an hour and tried to jump over a Fiat 500. The attempt failed miserably and he brought my bike back in two pieces.
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Image Gerry Lauzon

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