I like to think of myself as a rather rational fella, I’m usually not superstitious. The whole idea of ghosts, paranormal activity, star signs, clairvoyants, Mystic Meg and Russell Grant doesn’t really register on my slightly laidback radar. However this is completely turned on its head when it comes to my cycling.
I possess lucky socks, lucky shoes and on some occasions even lucky charms. If anything subsequently goes awry, it’s always because I wasn’t wearing or in possession of any of the above. I also have a rather annoying habit of not being able to stop on anything remotely associated with the number 13, it’s usually either miles or minutes or even seconds. So invariably my rides are always extended to alleviate my concerns. It’s all a trick of the mind with me searching for some kind of understanding, instead of just simply enjoying the bike and the surroundings.
I acknowledge I must reprogram my psyche to be less responsive to emotional factors and focus on a more logical explanation, like pedal, rotation, propel, ENJOY – it’s that simple!
On the topic of clothing, I would like to briefly discuss the bizarre appeal of lycra especially on us amateur cyclists. Personally I can stand the stuff, it expertly defines areas of the body that should remain firmly under wraps. Even my rather skinny frame looks ludicrous, ridiculous swathed in cyclist’s alternative to spandex. So the more rotund, fuller figures have nowhere to hide. I question the benefits it actually gives to use non-super human types, where resistance and aerodynamics are just big words we sometimes encounter to make people sound intelligent and important (possibly self-important). Let’s face it, the likes of Contador, Cavendish and Froome don’t particularly look that attractive in this clobber, so what hope is there for us mere mortals.
This was perfectly summed up by the reaction of my step daughter whilst watching Sir Brad take his plaudits following his tour victory, the image of absolute disgust, confusion and embarrassment across her face continues to be a point of hilarity. On that note, I feel it’s a good point to finish the discussion!
The weather is improving, I even wore my shorts comfortably for the first time this week so please make every effort to venture out on your bike, you know you want too, you do trust me!
Scot Whitlock Editor, CADENCE Cycling Magazine (coming soon)
Author ‘Simple Words from the Saddle’ & ‘Simply More Words from the Saddle’
Kazakhstan trip: www.pedaltheunknown.com