I was very heartened today when I saw that Mark Cox, Cox Creative and Somerset cycling re-tweeted and re-posted on Facebook, a link to my justgiving site. As you know, I'm taking part in Ride London in August to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care, in memory of my parents. It was a lovely gesture and I'm very grateful. If you haven't yet, and you feel so inclined, please sponsor me via the link to the side. Thank you.
I'm bored of complaining about the weather, but it helps to set today's ride into context. Yesterday I had family duties to attend to, and then when I could ride in the late afternoon the wind was blowing like the breath of dragons. Only without the heat. And with the threat of rain. And with no mates to shield me from this summer breeze I didn't fancy it.
So I looked at the Internet weatherman. I was due at a luncheon engagement with the family for Father's Day at 12, in Bristol. Joy of joys, the forecast indicated no rain in the morning. So an early night, and an early start gave me the time to do a 40 mile jaunt around the Mendips on my own. The wind even abated a little, and the first spots of rain arrived as I docked in the shed at 9.45.
But still. Gilet, leg-warmers and arm-warmers in June? Not that fast (although to argue with myself I recorded my fastest spot speed of the year to date, 46.5mph, as I came down Shipham Hill), but I was enjoying myself, the very open roads and the lack of much traffic. On this route there was also a lot of wildlife about. The near-ubiquitous cows and sheep of course, as well as a deer, pheasants, lots of other birds, (some of which seemed intent on eviscerating themselves so close did they come to the front wheel), rabbits, squirrels, and a rat.
Quite a bit of climbing too, and some splendid views, with only the sound of birdsong in my ears. And my thoughts in my head. Mostly about why people take so much, that is so inconsequential, so seriously, and ignore things that really are important.
There has been a force four on Twitter recently about the rules. I like them. I like them for one simple reason. But it's a really important reason. Because they are funny. In what turned out to be one of the last conversations I had with my Mum before she died, she said (knowing she was dying) that she had had a great life but wished she had known more laughter. Remember that.
I nearly decided to drive to work on Friday, so much was my disdain for the wind and the wet. And whilst it didn't really prove anything to anybody that I had my fastest ever ride in, mainly because I was directly in the way of a massive tailwind, it did prove something to me about my character. I'm pleased with myself, and if that is reflected in Rule 9, then that makes me smile even more.
Life is not a competition, we get to carry each other remember? Oh dear, I'm on that soapbox again. But the rules? It's like a beard. They are always funny, but they hide an essential truth which secretly we all aspire to, just like the profound message in this song. You may not understand this yet. But you will. One day.
Time for the bees, to calm everyone down.