A bit of a hill should never be dismissed. When someone who is only truly happy in mountains describes it thus, be a little scared.
Age is no barrier. The ride was to celebrate a 60th, but many of the members of the Penrith Peloton had pedalled past that milestone some time ago, just as they pedalled past most of the rest of us up the aforementioned bit of a hill.
There may be justification in lying about one’s age. Or at least that’s how it felt as some – more uphill and damp – moments of the enterprise.
A better bike makes all the difference. I know I’ve campaigned quietly for the de-lycrafication (it should be a word) of cycling and the restoration of it to a means of transportation unfettered by the need for special kit, fitness or intimidating and mysterious conversations (dérailleur?). However, my life has been enriched by the acquisition of a skinny and shiny road bike and I know it helped enormously.
Cake is a lifesaver. Only a minor exaggeration but the well-planned liaison with birthday girl Janet’s sister Sheena and lots of delicious cake was a serious morale booster. Without them the proverbial scabby equine may have met a sticky end.
Cycling could result in invisibility. When you consider that the app that tells me this stuff informed me that I had burned 2895 calories from cycling, plus the 2000 or so that merely existing burns and not subtracting food eaten during exercise or immediately afterwards because that doesn’t count, it wouldn’t take too many long bike rides before I’d lose enough weight to completely vanish. I’d better be careful.
If you’re going to cycle up a really long hill, then it may as well be raining. As you’re not going to be having much fun anyway. The first part of our epic bike ride was somewhat damp so we got to exercise not only our legs, but our optimism and positive thinking too. How fortunate that we weren’t overheating and that the rain was washing the sheep poo and mud off us. And the sun came out in the end.
If you’re going to cycle up a really long hill, you’ll be earning yourself a splendid long freewheel down the other side. One of the best things, ever.
Heavy cyclists and light bikes make the best downhill companions. Making it all worthwhile and – very scarily, according to the bike app, hitting more than 30mph, but, luckily, nothing else.
Birthday bike rides are an excellent idea. So much more rewarding and memorable than tea parties. You get all the guilt-free cake you can eat, lots of opportunity to catch up with your companions, great scenery and lots more delicious food later. And there could hardly be a better way of showing Time that you don’t care than by cycling away from it as fast as possible.
Thanks and happy birthday to Janet for inviting and organising us.
Thanks to Sue Tomlinson for some of the photos (my photo taking was somewhat restricted by the need to conserve energy for pedalling)