Lomo cycling by fabbio

Lomo cycling by fabbio

I cycled the whole way into work today. Blah blah blah, you say, it’s not all that. And reasonably so, yet I’m still proud of the fact. And here is why.


When I was young, I was quite the athlete. I was centre of defence in the (almost) all-conquering 1993 season Owslebury County Primary School football team (under the management of the Keegan-esque svengali Ian). True, I wasn’t all that good, scoring more goals in my own net (2) than in the other team’s (0), but that’s not really the point here. I won the sprint at Sports Day leading to a famous Robin victory over the Yellowhammers (it was a countryside school…), and was active in all the right ways.

Then one year, at cub camp somewhere near Oxford, I fell off the monkey bars onto my backside, and I mark this as the beginning of the end. Although a glorious comeback was completed with said sprint victory, there was always a soreness in the posterior, which swiftly led to excuses, and general withdrawal from the world of sport. By secondary school, the cricket/football teams could do without me easily enough, and my burgeoning basketball career never made it past a sympathy spell as captain in the inter-form tournament, and a near career-ending, wrist-breaking body tackle on Smith. I never looked back, and sailed into a sea of physical apathy, full steam ahead.

Throughout sixth form, I can’t remember a single incidence of physically strenuous activity, yet I plied myself with a daily canteen hotdog (red and white wrapper) or barbeque rib dog (green and white),  as well as a Galaxy Caramel. A gap year job saw me eating both a full dinner (with hot pudding) at lunch, and my mum’s full dinner in the evening. Weight was gained.

Moving to London saw a cut in the quantity of food perhaps, but more pertinently the quality. Pot Noodles were consumed at not irregular intervals, and breakfast turnovers from Costcutter, North Road N7, after all night recording shifts were a frequent feature of my culinary life.

On starting work my exercise was limited to the occasional walk to Southgate (20 minutes), or from the office to Finsbury Park (20 minutes), very occasionanally further. The odd game of badminton told me that my calves were not really in a position to compete. 

I’m not a very fat man, and I’m not heroically unfit, however, I’m not a very fit man, and I’m not anywhere near an athlete. So cycling to work represents something of a triumph for me – will I soon be rid of tubby, short-of-breath Simone for good? If I get up to riding a full 15 miles a day, I think so. 

You can get the blow-by-blow account on my tumblr page. Some good blogs for cycling: onionbagblog, Urban Velo.


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