i think i might have lost my cycling mojo.
y’see i was ill. i won’t go into too many details but in one 48 hour period i visited my toilet 40 times! in a period of 5 days i ate a single plateful of food in total. and at one point i had a temperature of 39.4C (37 is normal, 38 is swine flu. at 39 i was having bizarre dreams). the doctor visited and after he fell off our armchair in a moment of pure comedy, we spent half an hour discussing eddy merckx and my gut. he left telling me that my illness would ‘run its course’!
before this, i’d had a decent year, clocking up a lots of miles but more importantly, enjoying my riding. i’d had a few great weekends away with the boys, riding both on and off road. i’d started running occasionally and enjoying the strength benefits and the feeling of general fitness.
i’d also taken up kayaking (more accurately, it’s a sit-on-top, but people just look at you funny if you tell them you’re getting up early on a sunday morning to go for a paddle on your sit-on-top) and was learning to love the peace and closeness to nature of exploring the local rivers.
but despite these interlopers, cycling was still my thing. i still have a bike part tattooed on my forearm. i still have three of my bikes standing next to me in my lounge as i type.

usually, after only a couple of days off the bike i’m desperate to get back on it. any kind of ride will do. it doesn’t have to be a 50 mile leg-burner or a weekend of welsh trails. a gentle bimble to the shops with the kids is great. but this time, i just can’t work up the motivation to get back out and ride and i’m not sure why.

a couple of things have got to me during this time off the bike:
because of the illness, and my weakness since, i’ve driven to work all of this week (before this, i’d driven to work less that 10 times all year. i am ian and i am a bicycle commuter!) and on a couple of occasions i’ve seen other cyclists riding my rural route and it just seems SO DANGEROUS!
last saturday, the first day i was back on my feet, i went to watch and photograph my cycling club’s open 25 mile time trial. this involved standing next to a busy A road, watching fragile looking cyclists being squeezed past by huge, rumbling trucks that made the bridge i was standing on shake.
26 russell holmes
everyone drives so bloody fast these day. i’m not some aging, deer-stalker wearing old-fella and i have a nice, powerful car that i enjoy driving quickly when the mood and conditions take me, but i just can’t understand the rush that people are in. speed limits mean nothing. there is no such thing as courtesy. most people seem to become so hostile when driving. it is madness.
i vary rarely have these concerns when i’m riding. its just when i see other people riding, see these near misses from a distance, as a third party…

so maybe this is why i hear so often from non-cyclists that they won’t ride because the roads are too dangerous. as i said, i don’t sense these dangers when i’m riding, just when i’m a cyclist driving a car.
when i am riding, i’m in a far better position to judge the true danger because i’m not wrapped in steel and glass and watching from a distance – i’m right there…
enjoying every second.


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