Cycling was never my thing as a kid. I enjoyed it enough dodging about on the streets with friends, steering between the shards of broken glass that inevitably littered the bleak, concrete housing scheme where I grew up.
But they couldn’t compete with football, basketball or girls.
No. It wasn’t until I moved to a house by the sea that I really appreciated what kind of freedom two wheels could give you, cutting through the air reeking of surf, gawping wide eyed at the beautiful sunsets on the horizon.
Even then the daily grind of life caused those little trips to be few and far between until last year when Iain heaved our steeds onto the back of his car bound for his native Stornoway.
There they stayed until we agreed it would be folly to travel all that way and not have a go, which was when he introduced me to the moon rock of Harris.
It rained like nothing I’d ever seen before. The hills might as well have been vertical. They stretched for ever between peat logged moors. It sapped both mind and body. Left me utterly chilled to the bone.
It was without doubt, one of the most amazingly brilliant times of my life.
That’s why now I don’t think twice at the prospect of jumping on my bike to cycle along the Union Canal to Edinburgh. It may take a few hours, but with the wind whistling past your ears, it clears the mind.
Once I have saved some spare cash, I hope to upgrade from my aging, weighty 12 year old mountain bike to something more akin to a lighter and faster road bike and have a bash at a proper cycle with camping along the way.
A good friend of mine in a week’s time on a journey we’d planned on doing together from Amsterdam to Italy. I really wish I was going with him, circumstances dictate that this time I just can’t make it work.
So it was somehow serendipitous that a former colleague now promoting freshnlo Pedal for Scotland got in touch asking if I wanted to take part in this year’s event with Iain under our Two Fat Laddies banner.
As recent posts allude, both of us have taken our time to find any kind of mojo this year. Not having the same, target filled diary as before may have something to do with it. So a new challenge comes at the most welcome of times.
On September 9 the plan is we cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh as park of one of the largest ride outs Scotland has seen. It’s all in aid of a fantastic charity too, Maggie’s Centre, and we’re only to happy to lend our, er, weight to the cause.
Iain, of course, did it last year while I opted to run the Forth Bridge 10k instead. He’s never shut up about it since.
We were asked if we knew anyone else who might like to take part, to form a team if you will. We mulled it over. Came up with a few names, some likely candidates. But then another thought struck us.
Would readers of this blog want to join us for the day? Cycle Team Two Fat Laddies. Not so much Tour de France as Tour de Farce, but all in the name of helping a truly great cancer charity.
Either way, Iain and myself are all for it. We’ll be tracking @pedalscotland on their Twitter account too.
We’ll be scouring Gumtree and the small ads so we can buy some new wheels and start getting into practice pretty toot sweet. We’ll also be keeping a training diary along the way, potentially with video.
So if anyone’s else fancies joining us, then note your interest by leaving a reply below.