Stephen Brady writes:-
Dear Editor Roy,
Electric Assist Bike.
My mate Chris Ocego purchased an electric assist bike in 2011. Although I thought it wasn’t ‘cool’, he lent me his. I thought it was great and decided to buy one myself. Chris was at 64 at the time, I was 60. Back on bikes after decades.
Well we had a great time. We managed 10, 15 and even up to 30 miles. Even with electric assist we found it hard work. But what fun. We just loved it. Two oldies back biking and chewing the fat.
The Cycling Snob.
After knowing you, Roy, for some years when I have been walking and you cycling we met one day in Deganwy. You were riding with another man – clearly one of the cycling insiders. As always we stopped to say Hi! . Me so proud at my achievements at 60, complete with an electric bike cycling on a massive 12 mile round trip. Well your mate looked at me in disgust. That could have put anyone off other cyclists. What a biking snob I thought. I did think of another word actually!!!
Chris and me soon got into mountain bikes. There was going to be no Lycra for us – just old clothes. The distances remained the same. The effort was much harder, but the smiles got bigger. Who cared – we were had massive fun.
Chris at times madder than me said in 2014, I’m going to get a road bike. I had the same thoughts so that’s what we did.
Road Bikes – Sportives here we come!
Chris bought his bike just before me. I bought mine April 2014. Let’s give a sportive a go we agreed. Conwy Gran Fondo was the first of our serious rides. We made a couple of trial attempts on the route, but not the whole route. What the heck we thought; what have we done signing up for this. Forty plus miles of hell. We thought we would never do it – but we did!
Conwy Grand Fondo was a cycling dawn for me and Chris. Since then between us we have ridden Etape Eryri; the ‘Cheshire Special Invite’, Tour de Mon, Mark Cavendish’s “Rise above Sportive” and this year’s ‘Wild Wales’ organised by Merseyside CTC.
Most weekends with hit the roads, 40, 50, up to 100 mile rides, and with big smiles across our faces as if we were still young.
Oh yes, we did give in to Lycra in the end!!!!
If there is a message here, it’s we are all biking brothers and sisters together, regardless of age, religion, gender, colour, clothing.
So next time someone shouts Hi !! ……..Even if they are on a BMX, electric assist, tandem, mountain bike, or whatever, shout Hi!!! in return. We all share an interest in common. Roy, you never have been anything but nice to me. But please don’t let others be a biking snobs, otherwise biking stories like ours will never happen.
At a time when society is becoming more divided, and as individuals we are more insular than in the past, Stephen’s message becomes ever more important.
So whether we encounter other cyclists, people out walking, or a driver extending courtesy on the road, a nod and a hi! costs nothing, but can make the world a happier and safer place.
Conwy Gran Fondo http://granfondoconwy.com/
Tour de Mon http://tourdemon.co.uk/
Mark Cavendish’s ‘Rise Above Sportive’ http://www.riseabovesportive.com/