Fame - it’s hard won
My little video about the cycle lane in Gateshead has gone mainstream. The Newcastle Journal ran it today as their front cover story, with the main details taking up most of page 3!
Naturally they wanted pictures to go with the story (my good looks sell papers? Something like that, I’m sure), and naturally I had to be on a bike to make the point.
The trouble was that yesterday it was blowing an absolute gale - a steady 24mph, with gusts up to lots more than that. The kind of wind that can literally blow you off your bike, and once I’d gone 1 1/2 miles down the coast from home, I turned east to face it head on. By that time, a gust had caught my Sturdy Commuting Bike’s front mudguard, and literally snapped the rivets that hold most of it in place, so it was flapping around like an annoying flappy around thing.
Fortunately the Very Nice People at Whiptail Cycles were only a mile further into my journey, so I was able to stop there and beg a couple of cable ties to jury rig it for the remainder of the journey. And it was a really tough journey - the ten miles into town normally takes me around 35-40 minutes; yesterday it was just over an hour of hard slog into the wind. If I hadn’t been
such a fame-obsessed attention-seeking shallow had such an important story to get across, I think I’d have turned around and gone by car instead. The only thing to do was keep those elbows in, my head down, and pedal like a man on a mission.
After spending about 50 minutes with the Journal’s photographer, I had a couple of meetings in town. Of course, the second one of these over-ran, and I could have been worried about getting home on time for Daughter’s fantastic Creative Partnerships evening at school. But with that wind, I knew this wasn’t going to be a problem - if only I could manage to keep below the speed limit and avoid getting pulled over for speeding! Just more proof, I guess, that cycling’s a very Zen, kind of yin-yang thing. For every hard slog out, there’s a flying return home. Neither matters more than the other - it’s just the way it is.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 04/01/2008
- Total Time: 2:00:00.00
- Distance: 28 miles
- Average Speed: 14 mph