Thursday, 18 February 2010

A Nod please, but no Wink

Sunday came and I said goodbye to the Wife and kids for 48 hours. Great I thought, I'll get out on the bike. I made one of two connected mistakes. Firstly I sat down with a cup of tea and turned the telly on (mistake #1). Then while flicking around I came across a Neil Diamond ITV Concert Special (mistake #2), bollocks transfixed by the smooth tones of the 'Jewish Elvis' (a nickname which I never knew he had till I got on Wiki) I watched the rest of the Show.

 a bit of Neil Daimond pre ride is a good thing

So, a bit later than planned, I eventually got out. I had planned to head to some hills where there are a series of climbs which could be straight out of the Flemish Ardennes, I like to think of it as Little Flanders. I thought it'd really help get my head and body in shape. The roads round here are pretty crap at the moment with whole sections of the road broken up and pot holed, I was getting more of a Flanders experience than I was expecting. A brief lack of concentration left me a cropper on one of these monster holes. Luckily I was fine, but it changed the course of my day. Instead of heading towards Little Flanders I turned left and went up a climb which could have left me swearing if I'd had any breath left in my lungs. A rude awakening for sure.

Before I made the left turn up the rude climb (think La Redroute, or at least in my head it is) I stopped to have that 5 minute paranoid post crash check over the bike. A group of mates (about to head up the climb) split into two and separated by 30 seconds both checked to see if I was okay while I was fiddling away. I was quite touched because having lived in London for over 16 years, most people couldn't care, or where too afraid to ask. Since moving down here the riders of West Sussex and Hampshire have been so friendly and welcome. The best part is that people couldn't give a shit what kind of bike you are on, that snobbery just doesn't exist.

Flanders can look alot like West Sussex in places

I've always taken the view that we are all on two wheels and for those moments we belong to a big, and generally friendly, family of two wheeled happy folk. I've always tried to give a hello, a raised hand or if I'm completely knackered a nod. Further into my ride I bumped into some of the South Down Velo guys on their way home, more nods and hellos. I like it, especially when I am riding solo as it makes you feel a little less alone while out there in the lanes.

So please lets be a better example of being a human to your fellow velo riders and acknowledge each other. The warmth and passion that you have is best passed on to as many people as possible, and maybe we are just making the world a better place one revolution at a time.

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