I’ve had a very on-off relationship with cycling in the past. I’m not the fittest person in the world so I struggle with hills; I also tend to be a fair-weather cyclist and put the bike to bed in the depths of winter. I’ve had problems with bikes breaking down and bikes being stolen – but all (or let’s be honest, some) of that is about to change because I’ve decided to get a new bike and this time rather than just trying to get places I shall use it to keep fit.
I don’t have that much money to spend so there’s no point in recommending Claude Butlers with 97 gears and sprockets (I have only the vaguest idea of what a sprocket is, but it sounds really mechanical). There’s no point in fooling myself that I’ll be able to fix it when it goes wrong but at least if I buy a new one I can take it back to the shop (and don’t bother telling me it’s simple and there are loads of videos on Youtube – I know my limits and those limits are changing a tyre and oiling bits that squeak.) I’m getting quite enthusiastic about this project now and planning loads of places I can cycle; there’s a reasonably good network of cycle paths around Loughborough and once I’ve built up to it I can get over to Leicester, though it’s not so much the getting over that concerns me as the getting back.
I won’t be able to read Brian’s blog any more as he puts me to shame, cycling 70 miles a day is nothing to that man but right now ten would be an achievement for me. Lockdown has made me very unfit indeed.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Meanwhile I’m trying not to think too much about politics. The one bright spark on the horizon is Scotland where they have another chance at Independence and then – I know this is a long shot but it’s possible – at rejoining the EU. Meanwhile in England the Tories’ latest wheeze is to introduce compulsory voter ID at elections, something which is bound to disenfranchise many, and bringing back first-past-the-post in mayoral elections because it Just Isn’t Fair that Labour won so many of these. They really are getting more and more like the Republicans every day.