Being a normal person, I like to do normal things like reading a newspaper, going for a stroll along a seafront or listening to the comments of BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull and wondering why the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation doesn’t just fuck off up its collective middle aged, convertible buying, fascist thinking, country club joining, ‘it’s not a wig, honest’ stating, hatred & bitterness filled arse and die. Above all I like to cycle to work, but apparently this is not what normal people do.
The problem is distance. Once upon a time my grandfather and lots of other men and women from the village where I was raised used to cycle to work. However, the place of work was an engineering factory just outside the village so the journey was 2 miles max and cycling (or walking) was the logical thing to do.
Nowadays we live stupid distances from where we work, often through no fault of our own. This means that for the intrepid few that cycle medium to long distances to work, something has to give, and that is usually style.
I don’t mind admitting that I sometimes weep with silent love and envy at websites such as the Tweed Cycling Club which embodies Great British cycling at its most stylish and best or Copenhagen Cycle Chic with it’s happy, cool unhurried faces pootling along on sit up and beg bicycles on infrastructure to die for. In Britain we just have infrastructure to die on. These stylish websites make for gorgeous eye candy, but just aren’t for the type of person [in Britain] whose journey to the office is a 12 mile grind along a busy A259 where ‘the Left Bank’ or ‘Bohemian Quarter’ is actually Southwick Power Station or Portslade.
Now that Spring is upon us I’m trying to look as normal as possible but using lycra as a base layer (I don’t give a tuppenny toss what anyone says, lycra is very comfortable to cycle in thank you particularly over longer distances) but wearing T Shirts (sometimes with jokey slogans or cool logos) and long three quarter length shorts over the top.
I want people to point and think ‘Wow! That looks efficient, slightly stylish and normal. I think I might give cycling a go’ as opposed to just pointing and staring. I am normal. Honest.