Image by fellow Baroudeur, Denis Yeo
Do you have a cycling name? If so, who gave it to you and why? Disco; one fine evening whilst riding the Dunwich-Dynamo, Ben made an observation, and sure enough he was right.
Age? Old enough to do it, and young enough to enjoy it
What do you do when you’re not riding a bike? Sharing the love
What bicycles do you own and, importantly, why do you own them? I’m just happy I’ve got one.
What’s your cycling history? There’s a huge void between the moment my father let go of my saddle and I was cycling free, to the day Sarah gave up her wheels to take up a job in the Big Apple in 2001, and entrusted her fiendish steel frame to me. On my first Sunday out in town, I unintentionally took off faster than a Porsche, Range Rover and BMW convertible. Like all the three car drivers, I was thinking, is this possible?
It was around this time I met my Baroudeur brothers and sisters, and I still haven’t been able to drop them.
What have been your favourite and worst moments on a bicycle? It’s funny how something as simple as a bicycle can put a smile on your face. It doesn’t matter what kind of day you’re having, I can guarantee a bike ride will change your day.
Cycling helps me better interact with people and my surroundings. Case in point, riding to work today, a smile was exchanged as both happy parent and excited children in their cargo bike breeze pass. Things like this are worth a moment.
Worst moments? Isn’t there a ‘Top 10 on this’? Being prematurely relieved of two bikes and a quite nice Ti. Brooks Swallow. Yes, it is uncomfortable riding home without a saddle. All the same, I like to think I’ve become more resilient since that time. I’ve discovered different kinds of cycling, and meeting incredible people I have the honour of calling friends today. So thank you Mr/Mrs bike thief. Who’s laughing now?
Best moments? And so we come to our Grand Tour. My first. On my inaugural ride I wipe out. Imagine a human cheese grater if you will. What a way to go. The sun sets on our ride and perhaps any chance of me scaling the prized Mount Ventoux the following morning. Thankfully, there are doctors, and there are French doctors. What appears to be a quaint little country home in the town centre is actually the local clinic. The waiting room is full, yet the two French policemen are polite enough and let me go ahead of them; followed by a parent who insists that I take her daughter’s place in the queue. A short while later a wise and elegant doctor appears. She speaks perfet English. As she attends to my wounds she asks about our adventures, and smiles – she’s heard it all before. Expertly she remove the loose gravel that I am shocked to have missed through my own lame attempt, and quickly cleans me up like new. As we leave she wishes us “Bonne route.”
The next day as we ride up Ventoux, people who have camped on the roadside for the stage are cheering and spurring us on. Ah, sweet France!