2012 has been about riding bikes, that’s for sure. My top 5 cycling moments of 2012, in descending order:
5. Learning how to do more stuff on a bike, for example, doing the world’s worst trackstands. I was a bit braver about fixing things on my bikes too, which inevitably led to riding about with parts that I knew needed replacing but couldn’t be bothered. I fixed my Raleigh but rode it once and decided I didn’t like it any more so got my housemate to drive me to the recycling dump. I have managed to get progressively worse at changing tires too, but hey, let’s think about the positives: I did a trackstand, like once, and did two skids this entire year. Winning.
4. I had some good sunday afternoon rides, most notably the rides to Box Hill with Bernie. These included eating lots of cake and larking about afterwards. Another good sunday ride was when me and some others tried to go to the seaside and had what felt like an entire sea descend on us from the sky. I was unconsciously grimacing while I rode and got busted, mid-grimace.
3. I’ve ridden abroad three times this year. Italy in October, of course, which you can read about it tedious detail here. China in July, where I rode the shittest bike ever around in Beijing and a very-definitely-too-small-but-delightfully-neon-green-fixie in Tianjin (I also rode a horse and a camel). I rode bikes in Morocco in March, which I shouldn’t have done as I still had a broken elbow and a sling (not that that provoked any questions at the bike hire place). Check out my bike gang, and if you can figure out what on earth Matthew is up to in the background then do let me know:
2. Some other people rode their bikes a lot in 2012 too, and did it quite a lot better than me! Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, some of you may have heard about that. Then there was this low key event called the Olympics, where Bradley smashed the time trial (and I managed to silence an east end boozer with my shrieking during the final bit of it) and there was gold upon gold in the velodrome. My brother fell in love with Laura Trott but she broke his heart when this story came out. I cried a little when Victoria Pendleton cried but she made me smile with this. And if that wasn’t enough, the Paralympic cyclists were fucking rad too. So good, and I was pretty sad when the summer of cycling was over – though cheered a little by the discovery of this video, which combines taking the piss and my favourite song of 2012 (don’t judge me). And Lance Armstrong got found out as the cheating fuckwit he really is – so all round, not a bad year for cycling, I reckon.
1. But my number one cycling moment in 2012 came when I had a steroid injection in my wrist and was told I wasn’t allowed to ride for 2 weeks. That evening, it was suggested that I stoke a tandem, and after somehow convincing Tibbs to pilot me and equally bafflingly managing to convince Tom to lend me his tandem, the mandem tandem was go!
Kudos to Tibbs for taking a massive detour every day both on the way to and from work, for putting up with my inane chat in the mornings and for not getting too pissed off with me being a terrible backseat driver.
Bring on 2013!