I think it started more as a sport or a family thing. We were always riding all together whether on roads or on trails. Then as a triathlete, bum on the saddle for hours and hours training hard, chatting with my mates or just thinking about … don’t ask me because I don’t know. It is such a privilege not to think about anything, just daydreaming on your bike, feeling the wind on your skin. Then there are moments of pain when everything hurts, lungs, legs, heart, there is this back wheel in front of you. It hurts so much sometimes you can see two. A matter of pride I guess? There’s no point but you just do it, following that wheel, I mean.
But then it was more than that. It was this bike trip around France, carrying our lives on our bikes, the contact with our country, our people, that we thought we knew. The astonishment in the distances we could cover without even thinking about it. It’s also the single track, the speed, the British hills, the British mud. Just let it go and stop to control everything, keep momentum, take risks.
Riding is such a bloody metaphor of life, you can try and control everything, buy an insurance for every risk until you realise that life is a risk, there is no riding without fully engaging, accepting the unknown. So you have your ABS, airbags, lane keeping, cruise control, you won’t meet anyone surprising on your way, it’s not cold, not hot, not windy, not raining. What is it? Is this how it feels to be ‘free’? Feeling nothing? Cars have got all the space they want and they want more, they took over the cities, the killing with noise, speed and pollution, taking spaces belonging to humans. Don’t get me wrong, cars are amazing, but can’t we move without them?
Dump you car get a bike. Try it and you’ll love it.