The Daily Cycle has had a revamp into something very swish, and separated out the products to a new site called Stolen Goat. I haven’t had any time lately to write for them, and in the process some of my previous work has moved. So, I want to repost this. When Facebook’s timeline came in, I went back through my posts to check I hadn’t got anything public that was slagging people off. And I noticed that my first mentions of cycling were very negative. Bit by bit, status update by status update, they got more positive… so, here it is, unedited. My journey!
7 Oct 09: aarghhhh car is expensively poorly
7 Oct 09, later: who wants to buy a crappy Matiz with broken alternator, a zillion miles on the clock, and an arse-dent in the boot? Bidding starts at £1.70.
8 Oct 09: now have no car…
9 Oct 09: am sweating in places I didn’t know I could, and now understand the wrath of a cyclist finding a car parked in the cycle lane. And I’m really hungry.
10 Oct 09: would like a softer bike saddle.
11 Oct 09: Ugh, when does this exercise nonsense stop hurting and start feeling good?
13 Oct 09: have been doing this Exercise Crap for 6 days now, and spent the whole day today feeling sick and headachy. These facts are definitely related. Also, just keep eating bread.
27 Oct 09: cycled a whole 9 miles today and haven’t actually died. Just feels like it
6 Nov 09: Cold dizzy tired. Cycling sucks.
9 Nov 09: Mmm. Cycling + velvet trousers + waterproof over trousers = soggy, soggy, soggy.
13 Nov 09: Need to increase calorific intake by about 500 a day. Harder than it looks, but by my calculations, achievable by drinking a bottle and a half of red wine every night.
19 Nov 09: unimpressed by waterproof trousers that aren’t.
23 Nov 09: bum bum bum my bike’s been nicked bum bum bum and BUM. For god’s sake it was old, crappy, the tyres were near flat and the brakes don’t work, it was rusty and pink and heavy and it was HOW I GET TO WORK YOU THIEVING ***
28 Nov 09: 2 months after I had to scrap my car and start cycling everywhere, and 1 week after my bike was nicked, I get a speeding ticket!!! Ahahaha ha ha ha
22 Jan 10: need to buy a bike… cheap but good… for getting to work, getting around town, and cyclepaths… recommendations? Am looking at falcon City 6 but it has a weird bendy cross bar.
3 Feb 10: After a 3 hour statistics session in which the lecturer didn’t pause to breath, a 5 mile cycle home through the snow, and back to a flat with intermittent heating fault, I am NOT at home to Mr Happy.
29 Mar 10: I’m covered in oil. Black, greasy oil. Chain came off my bike in the peeing rain going from one tutoring appointment to another. Everything I have touched is now marked with a dirty smudge. How strangely apt.
31 Mar 10: No longer suffering from Chain Suck! and am perversely looking forward to a good long bike ride this weekend.
3 Apr 10: Oo er. Just learnt an important lesson about long cycle rides, hills, and tight jeans.
9 Apr 10: 18 miles! With HILLS! And not dead!
22 May 10: Cycled up to Carnforth, and saw: cygnets, herons, and people trying to picnic on quicksand.
23 Jun 10: yay for national bike week – got a free breakfast at 7.30 this morning on Millennium Bridge on the River Lune.
10 Aug 10: on the day I decide to cycle home really fast to build some stamina, and arrive back very sweaty, I discover that the boiler has not only been disconnected…but is no longer on the kitchen wall. And dad ate my cookies.
12 Aug 10: Thunderstorms. Ace. Cycling home in a T-shirt, not so ace.
2 Sep 10: Wasted journey into Lancaster and now a flat tyre 2 miles from home.
10 Sep 10: Lucky for the ****** car driver that my bike brakes work better than his brain.
23 Sep 10: Second puncture in as many weeks. It was a long, cold walk home.
26 Sep 10: damn bike damn inner tube damn lack-of-spanners damnity damn damn
27 Sep 10: snooty man in bike shop: “we sell multitools and allan keys and blah blah blah but OF COURSE we don’t sell spanners because all OUR bikes have quick release wheels.” Oh well pardon ME and my ordinary run of the mill commuter bike and my lack of lycra and my SENSIBLE f***ing handlebars.
20 Oct 10 eat-breakfast cycle work eat-dinner work cycle paint-fascias eat-tea write-book bed
28 Nov 10: Seriously thinking of wussing out of cycling to work tomorrow. But if it keeps snowing the trains won’t run so might have to bike….eep.
Friend: good luck.
Me: I did cycle! The cycle path was remarkable quiet this morning. Also the snow was all sticky and coated my tyres. But I did it so I’m officially not a wuss!
Friend: Exceptionally brave. Well done!
Me: Thank you! To be honest I am so asleep at that time in the morning I don’t notice how cold it is until about 2 miles into the journey. Then I suddenly wake up with a jolt, and shout “whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaa it’s *expletively* cold what the *expletive* am I doing?”
6 Dec 10: cycling to work in minus 5, to save a £2.60 train fare. Am I seriously hard, or just seriously, sadly, pathetically tight?
17 Dec 10: deserves to open the mulled wine after cycling the length and breadth of Morecambe delivering cards. If you didn’t get one, sorry, I got cold so I set fire to them.
22 Dec 10: Today’s source of rage: yes, I gave up on the trains, and cycled to work. And on the way home, got a puncture. Two cotton t-shirts and a fluorescent jacket might be fine for cycling but a bit bloody cold when you’re walking home. The universe is clearly telling me to stay in bed tomorrow.
10 Jan 11: Got my kevlar tyres! Does life get any better? Woooo!
18 Jan 11: Dear car drivers. If you decide to yell something at me as you speed past, please be aware I won’t catch a word of your carefully thought-out analysis, due to the doppler effect and general traffic noise. I’m sure it was insightful and relevant comment, though. Thank you for your contribution
13 Mar 11: Tried to fix bike. Fail.
17 Mar 11: Highlight of the day: being fitted for a sports bra, and having to jump up and down, semi-naked, so the woman could check if I bounced.
25 Mar 11: Fantastic weather to be able to cycle long way home via canal / Hest Bank.
27 Mar 11: Next time I’ll read the details on the cycle route a bit more closely, paying particular attention to phrases such as “more demanding ride” “sudden climb” and “very stony path”.
31 Mar 11: didn’t realise how drunk I was till I got off the boat but everything was still moving, did cycle home but went into verge a few times
7 Apr 11: Would buy a mountain bike now I live in Rossendale if payroll could get it right.
10 Apr 11: wants to buy a mountain bike…
10 May 11: 4 weeks of no longer cycling to work, plus cohabitation = I’ve put on half a stone! I suppose this is good, it means the Crohn’s is not so active. But I’m not used to feeling a wobble when I run…
29 Jun 11: Got me a bike what’ll do hills and stuff…thanks, M-I-L, I take it all back.
2 July 11: oh god oh god the hills, the hills! Don’t think 24 gears are going to be enough for Rossendale hills. The easiest way to replace calories is through wine, yes?
6 July 11: Just cycled to Rawtenstall and back. In a thunderstorm. Up and down hills. Note to self: check gradients and weather forecast FIRST next time.
19 July 11: How is it, I can go for a potter on my bike (up Rossendale CLIFFS) and feel like I’m about to die every inch of the way (okay, just 15 miles) but then get home and feel like I want to do it all again?
20 July 11: Fun little pootle along part of cycle route 6, marred only by the inexplicably locked gate, flight of stone steps and rough track that suddenly became a steep, rocky stream.
22 July 11: Nothing quite like a 12 mile cycle in the rain, up and down dale, to collect a book which IS THE WRONG ONE.
29 July 11: Umm, somebody please recommend me some cycling shorts that don’t start to smell like something’s died in chlorine after only 30 minutes.
1 Aug 11: Fab cycle ride: 20 miles, hilly (gain of 935 ft to max elevation 1004ft), a few 13% hills in there too, and I can still feel my legs! I think I’m getting fit at last, woo hoo!
9 Aug 11: booking a cycle reservation on the trains. What a swift and efficient process that wasn’t.
15 Aug 11: I’m back from wild camping by train and bike, and feeling remarkably refreshed in spite of a curious reaction to artichokes.
31 Aug 11: okay, so clearly a fluorescent yellow cycling jacket is actually some kind of magnet, attracting the very stupidest car drivers into my path.
10 Sep 11: MUD!!! My next bike will NOT be white…
16 Sep 11: I have guest blogged on The Daily Cycle!
26 Sep 11: Top tip: roads with “height”, “rake”, “top” or “view” in them might be a little hilly.
28 Sep 11: Just received my first ever proper cycling jersey. Am I a real cyclist now?
28 Sep 11: The Landrover is poorly! Need to get to work tomorrow. Do I a) leave at 6.30, cycle 6 miles to train station, arrive at 8am. Or b) leave at 6.30, cycle 18 miles to Preston, arrive at 8am. I can’t believe I’m even thinking about this.
29 Sep 11: I did the daddy of all cycle commutes today! Help I’ve gone numb from the nose down.
16 Oct 11: Cycled up 1300ft (Todmorden Moor) – bit of a slog. Cycled DOWN 1300ft…AAAAARRRRAAA AAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
16 Nov 11: Hooray another ambition realised: triggered a speed sensor at 18 mph and NO, it wasn’t downhill.
12 Jan 12: Got my Audax UK membership stuff today. Very exciting, but slightly terrifying magazine full of photos of grinning loons who’ve just cycled 1200km without sleep. Can’t wait.
14 Jan 12: Is very much looking forward to the Mountain Biking Skills course tomorrow at Rivi Barn…in spite of the 7am start and 20 miles to cycle there first!
18 Jan 12: Well, I’ve gone and paid for it…so I gotta do it now http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/12-161/ And 2 cafe stops? Love the way Audax is based entirely around cake.
22 Jan 12: uphills + headwinds = I deserve WINE
19 Jan 12: Hubby has acquired a turbo trainer for me. I hadn’t realised I was that much of a nightmare to live with, if I couldn’t get out on the bike…
5 Feb 12: Fun! Haven’t cycled on the flat for about 8 months, I had forgotten what it was like. 16 miles of NO HILLS AT ALL. Actually started to feel a bit weird.
9 Feb 12: just signed up for a 200km cycling event in May. Travelodge have £10 rooms for sale right now. Um. 200km. In one go. My work mates said I was mad for cycling 18 miles to work. They are gonna LOVE this