Cycling has always been a part of my life since I was old enough to sit on a little tricycle and then eventually a two-wheeled bike.
My rides have brought me very close to nature at times. I’ve been accompanied along hedgerows by goldfinches bobbing and weaving beside me; and I’ve enjoyed stolen moments with Red Kites swooping in on roadkill with their magnificent wings, as I free-wheel silently by. I’ve seen birds of prey glide in slow motion and land on fences right by me; and I’ve dodged grass snakes as they wiggle across country lanes infront of me. You’re always looking and listening on a bike, not least to be safe; but every now and then nature throws you an unforgetable encounter.
I've cycled with and without panniers, I've cycled with touring clubs and more competitive clubs. I've commuted, toured, ridden solo and with friends; gone on cycling holidays, entered Sportives, duathlons, closed road events, cycled in mountains and had a go at time-trialling. I've had everything from no computer, to Cateyes, basic bike computers and now a Garmin. I've used Garmin Connect, Strava, 'Love to Ride', 'Map My Fitness' apps etc.; but at the end of the day the only thing that gets me moving on a bike is the pedalling.
I've always loved steel bikes. They look like proper(!) bikes and can take a demanding ride over many terrains. I do have a carbon-fibre bike and it is very responsive, but it doesn't make me a faster rider. It's just light and requires less force to push it forward. So it's going to be a bit faster. It's science...
I ride to enjoy the outdoors and to keep moderately fit. I believe that if something is part of your life, you don't need to dress it up or hang it out for all to see. Nobody can get in that space between me and my pedalling; and if you love something enough, you'll just get on and do it anyway.
I don't run or ride to perform. I like to have a go at new things more out of curiosity. I choose my pace and usually stick to it. If I'm out with someone slower, I ride slower. If I'm out with someone faster, I'll make an effort, but I'll try and stick to a mutually agreed pace. A good cycling buddy will stay with you anyway. It's only a bike ride.