20 Jun 2010

Why I love cycling

So here's a very random post about my love for cycling. This reflection has come from my recent pedaling resurgence, as part of my fitness [& transport!] changes.

So I've literally got back on on my bike [that Trek 1200 which had been collecting dust over the winter] and been tearing around the streets of Oxford. I don't think I'm the best or fastest cyclist - I just love pushing myself to keep going faster - if I see any bikes in front of me - it is my raison d'ĂȘtre to catch them...all of them!

But where does this insanity stupidity awesomeness madness come from?

Well personally I like to blame the parents - no seriously, it's actually their fault this time! to be precise, it's actually my old man's fault - he taught me how to cycle when I was about 4 or 5 [I think, not too sure, as I was rather young!]  in the car park of Temple Cowley swimming pool on a hot summers day - first with stabilisers, then not so much! But it's not just that simple - he was also a gifted cyclist himself - having raced for several clubs in Cycle Speedway.

For those not au fait with this sport,  it's a pretty intense and gritty [yes, pun intended] form of cycling, where you ride round a short gravel track [in a similar way to motorcycle speedway - but with more human power, less petrol] on some crazy bikes - my old man's bike having sandpaper pedals (for grip - this was well before shoes with plates in them connecting to cleats) no brakes & only one gear! Originally him & a couple of his cousins made their own track and created a team - Headley Hawks [which sadly closed a couple of years ago, but was visible on Google Earth! now track destroyed] and later, more when I remember as a kid, for Horspath Hammers - who are still going strong - there are even still picture of the old man [with current team manager Robin Carter with his 'stache] on their website http://horspathcsc.co.uk/default.aspx.

But how has this affected me & my cycling? Well after learning how to cycle, I've progressed through a load of really not great bikes - all mountain bikes pretty much, until back in 2006 when I got a Trek1200 with my old man up in Leeds I've discovered a love of speed on a bike. It took a little while to get used to different handlebars, brakes and gears, but the amount of raw speed you can get on a roadbike is brilliant! It is really quite fun to try to catch up with & stick with cars/buses whilst riding through Oxford, quite literally tearing up the tarmac - rather exhilarating!

I think the big think that helps me is to have the appropriate tracks to keep the momentum, but also the blood that flows in my veins - cycling blood! I've got some of the old man's old cycling gear (trousers & zippy-top) & I think the emulation is quite apparent, so thanks RKH!

1 comment:

Richard said...

Good blog Si. The cycle speedway tracks were actually surfaced with red shale rather than gravel. This bound better to give a decent surface to race on, but did make it difficult when it rained!!