I’ve started cycling. Cycling is the easy bit.

Well, I’ve been cycling for years but last year I bought a new road bike and hit the tarmac.

It’s great. As I’ve been watching the tour this week and seeing the thousands of spectators, it made me think of the dangers and hostility cycling brings.

I often feel sorry for the cyclists on Le Tour as sometimes, fighting the spectators becomes a bit of a hindrance. See Christophe Riblon pushing his way through the thousands of people cheering on. It almost looks impossible to get through. I saw Riblon have to push fans out of his way from knocking him off his bike shortly before winning a punishing Stage 18 of Le Tour.

Christophe Riblon Tour Spectators

In the real world

4da4b37a841311e29a6422000a9e06c4_7It’s a similar story in the real world, but not as flattering. I was out only last week, riding on a pot hole infested road in Rotherham when a Silver Ford Focus came flying round the corner after nearly knocking a friend I was riding with off his bike then narrowly passing myself. The car threw copper coins at me as I was cycling. You can’t avoid them but the roads are a dangerous place for cyclists.

A few weeks later another car flew close past me and screamed out of the window as they got within a foot of me. Some beep their horns, some shout abuse out the window.

If it’s not abuse, it’s incompetence. Drivers coming too close or overtaking in stupid locations. I was following a car at the same speed, close behind it, and the car behind me felt the need to overtake me. He was going nowhere, ended up heard first towards an oncoming car, slammed the brakes on and fell behind. Complete idiot. He obviously thought it was my fault.

I still love the cycling, it’s mega liberating and great when you get a good rhythm going but the most dangerous part is often the idiots who drive on the roads. I love my car, but riding on the road on a bicycle opens your eyes to how scary it is when you’re riding on two skinny tyres.

Whistle Stop Tour 2009

Fancy riding 1,200 Miles across the UK starting from Lands End and finishing at John O Groats? No? Me neither!

These two guys are though (Adam Fisher and Oliver Frearson) and I felt obligated to build them a website promoting their journey. It’s in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and they are trying to raise £3000 (that’s only £2.50 per mile!).

Check out the website, visit their blog (which will be updated en route) and give them a bit of support.

If your feeling generous you can also donate by clicking the big donate button on the top left corner. Anything will do, even 1 pence, it all adds up.