I’m Recycling!

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.

Kirk out

12 thoughts on “I’m Recycling!

  1. Seriously? Bringing BACK FPTP?!
    Anyway, yes, cycling is clearly the way to go. The furthest I’ve cycled in Leicestershire is Swithland to Loughborough, though I’ve also gone from Leicester to Swithland of course. It’s nice to feel all the bits joining together geographically and also that you’ve done it under your own steam. Although everyone needs everyone else of course, e.g. people who make bikes in the first place.

    1. I’ve made myself go back on another day to try again! Or the advice I give to others is to get as far up as possible, and next time try and improve on that.

  2. Good luck with the cycling: I hope you enjoy it. I feel no shame in admitting I’m a fair-weather cyclist, and there are too many hills around me for me to be able to have an easy riding experience with my asthma, which is annoying, because I am quite fit generally. I’m not really interested in targets: when I do cycle, it’s for pleasure, pure & simple.

    As for politics: I’m trying to avoid thinking about it, to prevent depression. My blog rant has been somewhat delayed thanks to a technical hitch, but I’ll get there, in due course. Cheers, Jon.

  3. I laughed when you mentioned me! To be honest, I’ve not done 70 miles in a day for a while; on my cycling trips to Scotland it became routine for me to do those kinds of miles each day because I had new places to head to. And I think that’s the key – having places to cycle to, or new routes to try, and certainly the excitement of a new bike helps (or even a well cared for second hand one), so it’s great to hear your enthusiasm.

    Two things my brother asked me when I got my new bike: “How many gears has it got?” and “Is it fast?” Silly questions really since my old bike had 14 gears and was “faster” than my new bike which has 24.

  4. Remember to make sure you get the bike assembled before you collect it. The last time I bought a bike (and it was a long time ago) they handed it to me in a huge box, with an instruction manual. I had to get a friend to help put it together. This is from Halfords website.

    ‘Bikes will normally be boxed for ease of storage but at Halford’s we can build any bike for collection, or premium bikes can be delivered built as well as collected. All bikes will come boxed unless specified that you would like the bike built when you order or reserve it.’

    I won’t cycle on the rural roads here. I find cars and lorries pass too close for comfort, and there are few pavements locally to offer that option. I gave my bike to my step-daughter, as she lives in a town.

    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I definitely will. And I’m not going to buy from Halfords either. We have a reasonably good network of cycle paths here

      1. I only used Halfords as an example, but other cycle shops sell them boxed. Mine wasn’t from Halfords, bought from an independent cycle shop in Chalk Farm, London.

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