In our ‘Celebration of Cycling’ Weekend, here is another list of reasons to love cycling, this time by Jason Snell, a Londoner who loves the joy and pain of cycling and regularly looks into his suitcase of courage during Ironman triathlons.
1: The way the peloton is always changing shape to fit the lay of the land, snaking through some of the most beautiful countryside in a flash of bright colours.
2: Have you noticed how a bike glistens in the sunlight? Bikes may just be bikes to people who don’t love cycling, but to a cyclist they are works of art, all different in shape and colour and purpose, but all beautiful.
3: No ride is ever the same! Mother Nature has a great way of transforming our rides into battles against the elements: throwing in everything from thunderstorms to blizzards to the dreaded headwind putting time on your favourite TT course.
4: The fact that you can go and ride the same routes as your heroes, thinking all big and bad to yourself that you’ll be able to beat their times up some of the famous mountain stages. Then you realise that they really are super-human! You wouldn’t be allowed on the pitch at Wembley … (I’ve tried)
5: The variety of races, from the famous Tour de France to the iconic Paris-Roubaix, that beautiful Hell of the North with its cobbled muddy roads!
6: The pro rider: hard as nails, always wanting to finish what they have started, never wanting to admit defeat, crashing at 40kph and getting back up to race to the end before attending to cuts and grazes. Or just manning up when they need to, ignoring the pain and pushing themselves way past the limit.
7: The glory of a win, no matter how insignificant – even if it’s just a training ride sprint to the coffee shop!
8: The nicest people ride bikes! [I can attest to that – just met Jason the other day and he’s top drawer! -Kitty]
9 Group rides with friends who try and make you suffer or vice-versa.
10: Because it’s FUN!
Follow Jason on Twitter @JaySnell