I spent 4 years cycling round the world.
I am not a cyclist.
I don’t shave my legs. I don’t have one of those trendy fixed-wheel bikes with narrow handlebars and a wispy goatee beard. I’m not one of the people that I enjoy overtaking in London who feel that it is easier to buy a ridiculously expensive road bike and a replica Lance Armstrong kit to ride to work on than to lose weight and gain speed by riding far and fast.
No, I cycled round the world because the bike gave me freedom, because it was cheap and because it was challenging.
So I am not “a cyclist”.
But last weekend I went mountain biking in the Surrey Hills. And I LOVED it! I think it is the most fun I have had (with or without clothes) in years. I did not stop grinning all day and I believe I might be heading towards calling myself “a cyclist” after all.
Mountain biking is great exercise, but without the boring-ness of “proper” training. The beautiful scenery of Surrey’s hill tops and bright green woodlands certainly beat my usual late night pounding of the streets of Brixton, the pavements glowing orange from streetlamps and the sound of police sirens mingling with my iPod in my ears.
The adrenaline rush of testing your nerve as you push your own personal limits on the descents helps cleanse the soul and blow away the week’s cobwebs.
I definitely hope that I will be going mountain biking again soon.
As well as re-discovering mountain biking I have also been surprised to feel a renewal of the urge to get on a bike and ride long, lonely miles once again. (I’ve even had a preliminary chat with Rob and Mark about a couple of exciting possibilities). I’m back in training now for a couple of big expeds next year and I’ve just entered the notorious ‘BallBuster Duathlon’ to sharpen me up in November while Ben heads to Antarctica solo. So there will be plenty of hours out on the road in the next few months.
All I need now is a bike company that might fancy giving (or lending) me a road bike and a mountain bike..! Any offers??!! Haha!
Seriously though, it feels good to be back in the mood for cycling once again, to be a round the world cyclist who might actually start to like cycling.