I suppose that I can look back on this being a good week (116 miles not counting commuting) but if you’d asked me at 10am I thought I’d really bitten off more than I could chew. Eric is a new rider in the area and he wanted to get to know some routes and some riders so we met him for a ride today and within 15 minutes of hanging onto his wheel we heard that he had actually ridden in the Athens Paralympics. He piloted a tandem in the Pursuit. His partner, Matt King, was a 4000m World Champion. The only thing that kept us together was that he didn’t know the way. I’ve waited a long time to ride with an American as I’ve always wanted to shout out that the church at Botolphs is over 1,000 years old. I managed to find enough breath to cry out. In this year of the Olympics it was great to speak to and be riding with someone that has been there and done it.
We did a big figure of eight going up to Hammer Ponds. There were riders everywhere and as we started back South we passed several big bunches heading North along the Twineham/Slaugham cycle route. It made me proud to be British and a Southerner. You’d either have to head to Yorkshire or Belgium to see as many riders as we did today.
It baffles me that cycling is so big in this country and yet we bring up our drivers to treat non motorists with total disdain. Today, we even had a driving instructor glaring at us for walking in the road where there was no pavement. Why not try to make a difference yourself? And before you start educating your family and friends try driving with care and respect yourself. Just see if you can spend a week not exceeding the speed limit, stopping for pedestrians to cross and generally treating others a human beings. Once you grab hold of that steering wheel you’ll be surprised how difficult it is and what a selfish prat you can become. It’s a British thing, nothing to be proud of, but is considered acceptable and the norm. Why not toot and wave in encouragement next time that you see a rider.
Here’s the ride, I forgot to switch off my Garmin whilst we enjoyed some tea and cycle banter with the Brighton and Worthing Excelsior riders crammed into Washington Village Hall. If we cut out all the faffing about meeting up with Eric we probably avergaed close to 20mph. The tempo felt like a mid summer ride for me and Joe, not so for Eric.
If you are or one of your friend is a female rider we are running a girls only road ride this coming Saturday, 28th Jan. Meet at the shop at 10am.
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