With 30 days counting down until I cycle around England it’s time to be honest about how much I need to learn about biking.
I’ve never done any long journeys on a bike before. In fact the most I ever did in one day was about 7 miles, once, when I was 19. I’m an ambler and don’t much like cycling if it involves effort. I’ve never fixed a puncture, changed a wheel or done anything other than adjust the seat.
Today for the first time I put a panier rack (I hope correctly) on the bike that was kindly lent to me for the trip by my friend Kimlin. After a (very) brief test ride my hands feel they’ve been vibrated by a road drill and I begin to seriously suspect my lady bits will not cope with hours of being bashed by a saddle without suspension.
I’ve found a local group that I hope will let me volunteer fixing bikes in exchange for teaching me and I’ll be spending the next month ranging further afield on the bike to try and get my biking muscles used to it.
At this point donning the padded Lycra shorts I got in a charity shop would seem like a bad joke, but perhaps before the month is up I will learn to love the bike and see myself as a cyclist. If not, I’ve then got an intense month of cycling around England to make me love it. Kill or cure.