I’ve got a problem. I love bicycles. I guess it’s not really a problem, but more of a passion. I’ll start again. I’ve got a passion. It’s for the fusion of man and machine. It’s for the perfect harmony of peddling. It’s for the freedom of two wheels. It’s for the wind in my hair.
I’ve been cycling ever since I was given a shiny red bmx at the age of…three? four? We’ll stick with four. On and off, years and years, riding around the park and local streets, getting into a little trouble, but mostly just enjoying the motion, the freedom and beauty of the machine.
That shiny red bmx was replaced with a prized Trek mountain bike, ridden across Epping Forest and Trent Country Park more times than I can keep count. Then it was a Specialized, then a Marin. Then I got interested in other things, and the bikes came and went, often stolen with alarming frequency, to the detriment of my parents bank balances. Nevertheless, they persevered with providing a bicycle that would work for me. To them, the idea of me riding a bicycle was healthy and wholesome.
Fast forward a decade from this nostalgic reminiscing (I apologise) and I’m sitting on my very first road bike. I’m marvelling at its beauty, it’s lack of weight, its skinny tyres and strange shapes. As I familiarise myself with the functions of its components, there is only one thought that runs through my mind. “How fast can I make it go?”
I take it out on a spin around the block, and end up riding it up and down Highbury Hill as many times as I can before my lungs feel like they are going to explode. “I’ll take it, I love it!” I proudly declare to my mother. And that was that. A love affair between man and machine sprung at toddlerdom and cemented in adolescence. It’s now ten years to the day, and with the purchase of my first road bike, my Mother seems to have unwittingly unleashed a passion that would define my twenties, and thus shaping my life. We’ll see how its going. Stay Tuned.