Saturday, 19 January 2013

riding bikes

I got my first two-wheeler bike for my eighth birthday - it was too big for me so until I grew I had wooden blocks on the pedals!
We were a bike riding family - Dad rode to the station everyday, parking his bike in the bike sheds at the church near by. Mum rode hers to do the shopping with a basket on the front and my brother in a seat behind hers.
And later on we all cycled to church; Dad in front, then me, followed by my brother and then my Mum. By the age of ten I was cycling to school, dancing lessons, Girl's Life Brigade and Sunday School - all of which were at least two miles away.
I passed the cycling genes onto my sons and daughter all of whom have cycled to school and work at one time or another, even if it was over ten miles into the centre of London!
Paul, my younger son has always had a very special love of bikes. At a very young age he borrowed my bike to do the London to Brighton Bike ride with Mark and his Dad. And within a few years he was doing it on his own bike by himself and arriving in Brighton within a very good time, ringing me up to tell me the good news.
While at school he got a weekend job working in a bike shop - his wages each week came home in the form of bike bits in a carrier bag and his 18th birthday present was a bike frame for all the bike bits! He joined a cycling club and raced.
It was very obvious to us all that cycling was Paul's life!
When it came to choosing a career, as parents we thought cycle racing would be his choice.
But no! as a seventeen year old he knew and told us that not only would he have to practice by cycling a hundred miles everyday he would have to take drugs.
A schoolboy knew that over twenty years ago! There are some things in this life that many of us just don't know!
Paul is still cycling, sometimes with his 5yr old son and he carries on buying bike bits but this time for a firm who pays him! He was offered several tickets by his suppliers for various cycling events at the Olympics and chose the Friday when the big races took place. He loves his job!
Congratulations to Nicole Cooke who has just retired from a drug free career in cycling and paving the way for women cyclists.