Who’s Teaching? (Just For Cyclists)

Just a little leg-turner, and I was lucky enough to miss the showers. When they come, they’ve been stunningly heavy.

There were lots of cyclists around today – far more than I’d have seen even just a couple of years ago and these are leisure riders out for fun, not utility. These are people choosing cycling. I like it. I do hope they get some good advice though, on the nuts and bolts of riding happily, comfortably and sensibly.

Perhaps strangely, that sort of advice was easier to come by when cycling was more of an unusual thing to be doing. Then, it would be almost inevitable that you’d meet up with experienced riders who’d often tell you the more arcane bits of wisdom. Nowadays you can go to the bike shop, buy a decent bike and never have a way in to access the information that makes riding enjoyable. I see people out – on weekends particularly – that have the kit but are riding alone and look, well, uncomfortable.

I’m no fan of cycling clubs – they’re far too race-oriented for most people, myself included, and in my experience far too inclined to ‘burn the newbie off’. Some of the magazines are helpful but, again, there’s an awful lot of stuff in them that’s race or competition oriented and is just irrelevant to the weekend rider who just wants to enjoy a few miles riding every now and then. And like most hobby/interest magazines, they can only exist if they keep on trying to sell you stuff you don’t need. Perhaps the web can fill the gap.

Perhaps I ought to put more information about technique and tips in these pages. I mentioned rubbing my palm on my front tyre to clear it of grit the other day. I learned that from someone way back when, as part of what was then the ‘normal’ way of things. How’s someone going to pick that up these days?

The danger, of course, is that without some help, newcomers to it will find cycling unenjoyable and quickly put it down as a mistake to be forgotten. Cycling will get safer when there are more cyclists, so it would benefit everyone if knowledge is freely shared.