Guy With a Bike

I’m just a guy with a bicycle and I’m sure this is nothing that 100s upon thousands of cyclists have written or thought over the year. More than a guy with a bicycle I am an angry guy with a bicycle.  Like many other I ride a bicycle because it fun, because I can get in the saddle and bite the horizon. I don’t race, I might like to but don’t put the hours in and I really could loose another bike’s worth of weight.

I had a great ride today. Made my goals, over 3000 calories burnt, cadence averaging above 85 (87 actually), 450m of climbing. I had my fun and I was thinking of all the little things that motivate me, like trying to hang onto the wheel of he tiny cute girl who just passed me and then smoked me as soon as the road kicked up; like stopping for ice cream on a hot day.

I’m just a guy for whom cheating is stopping the computer whilst I coast and drink or who eases up on a yellow light so I can get a break. Just someone who will put the hammer down for a random queen song on the ipod because what is more motivational than a Queen song*. In the words of Freddy Mercury (a man who allegedly loved to ride his bicycle):

And you're rushing headlong you've got a new goal

And you're rushing headlong out of control

And you think you're so strong

But there ain't no stopping no there's nothin'

You can do about it

I’m angry because certain pro cyclists are whinging prima-donnas, nothing new there I suppose. I love to watch bike racing. I love to watch men and women doing what I could never dream of, riding 180 days a year in beautiful countryside and getting paid to do it. I love the commentator prattling about cheese, I love the characters in the peloton and beside the road; Did, crazy basques, drunk Vlamingen, kids dashing for haribo from the caravan, all the fun of the fair.

I’ve paid my dues, bought the things these mobile billboards are selling, my BMC, bike, HED wheels, Mavic shoes, Giro Helmet, Garmin Computer.

So what is my point. My point is that I am one of many people powered by red licorice, tunnocks teacakes and last nights hangover and I have fun riding. I want The Shlecks, Basso, Contador and the rest to have as much fun as I did when I cat 6ed an unsuspecting triathlete on the 31st st bridge.

When I first started watching cycling I was very young and watching Lemond and Fignon at the end of the 80s. I still want a Z vetements jersey and seek out a refreshing Kas Limon whenever I visit spain. I missed out on the Festina/Armstrong era and only got back in a few years back. Things have changed. It seems that people’s heroes aren’t they guys that win the grad tours. Look at the heroes of this Tour de France: Gilbert, Voigt, Ten Dam, Hushovd, Flecha, Hoogerland and most of all Thomas Voeckler. A barrodeur who went out on what many thought was a standard suicide break, got the golden fleece and against all odds has kept it. He has kept it whilst the big names have whinged that other big names won’t attack.

If you’re not having fun, get off the bike and go home, go get a job that is fun. Give the race to us for who it is fun. We’ll ride it on our fixies and cruisers and MTB, on our over priced carbon fred mobiles you sold us. We’ll take 12 hrs a day, double rest days between each stage and probably award jerseys for the best beer drinker or fastest max speed descending.

Or better still, come and ride with me, come and enjoy a day of me huffing and puffing over the lumps I call hills. The ice cream is on me and so is the beer afterwards.

Lighten up, have fun. I’m using this message to start a little twitter campaign to get cyclists to remind the pro peloton why we like to cycle. Maybe this has been one before, maybe it is happening now, maybe I will get bored by teatime. Zero followers by tomorrow in any case.

http://twitter.com/#!/fredmantis

#thisismydope #realcycling

In the immortal words of Dave Brock, Bob Calvert and Lemmy:

I just took a ride

in a silver machine

and I'm still feeling mean

I got a silver machine

Do you want to ride

see yourself going by

other side of the sky

Well I got a silver machine

It flies sideways through time

It's an electric line

To your Zodiac sign

It flies out of a dream

It's anti-septically clean

You're gonna know where I've been

In my silver machine

 *OK Hawkwind but I’m taking the populist route here.