I’ve got enough experience cycling now to know that I can probably do it.. but not enough to know if I can definitely do it. There are just the right number of known factors and the right number of unknown factors. I completely accept that I could break my bike or get too exhausted and fail to finish the journey… but that’s all part of it. There’s something very important to me about this journey, even if I don’t know what.
My father was a keen cyclist for years until a crash stopped him cycling seriously. I guess that’s why I could cycle before I could walk, and why I got my first set of toe clip pedals at the age of 8. But I’ve always cycled habitually rather than with any interest, until now.
My father constantly overestimates the progress I’m probably making, saying “You could find a group that does 60mile club runs. Or if you’re really struggling, you could always find a slow group that only do 40mile trips… you can do 40miles can’t you? You can do 20miles in an hour can’t you?” I say “Not really Dad”.
My grandmother says “Don’t listen to him! You know he used to train with the alongside members of the Olympic team? You know he used to be out riding every evening of the week and 100miles at the weekend?”. I say “Did he?”
She says “Don’t push yourself now. You mustn’t do anything that not a pleasure, otherwise there’s no point is there.”
I tell my dad that I’m not taking it as seriously as he did, but I do want to do this 300mile ride – it’s a big challenge for me personally. In the end, he says “I think you can do it, because you seem like a strong cyclist”. I tell him that I feel like maybe I’m a weak cyclist who just won’t give up. He says “That’s what all strong cyclists are”.
Wish me luck – it starts today.