Pedal power

I admire cyclists. I took 2 trips out on the bicycle today. One to our local farm in the next village and then later a short trip up the road to a stables. 

En route to the farm, two hills stood between us and our destination and I found myself making it extra challenging by delaying the gear changes until my leg muscles started to scream. Added to the challenge was the weight of my baby boy on the back of the bike plus a rucksack on my back full of picnic. However I was still disappointed with my lack of progress and fitness and my admiration for Tour de France cyclists increased. 

Our village lies in quite a flat area, not quite the level of Norfolk (as there is the occasional hill) but it still makes cycling both challenging and pleasurable at the same time (if that’s possible). As a result there isn’t a weekend that goes by, winter or summer, that doesn’t have a cycle race taking place through our village. To such an extent that it can be tricky to drive or ride through our village as the cyclists dominate the road, with their calf muscles pumping up and down like hydraulic machines. As a result, our local shop does very well refreshing the tour de france aspirators and I’m sure if someone decided to set up a bike shop in the village, it would do very well.

I bet the pro cyclists aren’t so experienced at counter-balancing a baby boy when he has drifted off to sleep all hunched up on one side though. He was slumped to the right and I had to lean to the left so that the bike was upright. Maybe I should offer baby boy up as a training device for aspiring Victoria Pendletons.

My daughter accompanied me on the trip to the stables and did very well despite having only one set of gears, like most of us her favourite bit is free-wheeling down the hills, baby boy enjoys it too squealing in joy as the wind whips past us. Cycling is good for health and fitness if the Dutch are anything to go by. A few years ago we stayed at a camp-site popular with the Dutch and you couldn’t move for bikes, entire families cycling along the tracks criss-crossing the camp-site four across. I didn’t see one overweight person their, they all seemed so fit and healthy. You would think that all our success in the Olympics would inspire our nation to get cycling but all the time we have dangerous roads and motorists who consider cyclists to be a nuisance then I can’t see things progressing. I was shocked when I was cycling with baby boy earlier, how many motorists appeared to only give inches of space as they overtook – one wobble and that would have been that.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. To donate, please visit my page on Unicef’s site.

Thanks for reading.

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