Can you come out to play?

How many times were you asked that as a child, probably hundreds. The only obstacle to this was your mum who used to come up with stupid reasons for staying in like “your dinner is ready.”

Nowadays the situation seems to have reversed with many kids stuck on the sofa and only their old Dad going out to play in the evenings. Now don’t get me wrong I like gadgets and computers and I would probably be the same as the kids now but I grew up in a different age where out was normal and in was a BillyNoMates.

So I go out to play on my bike.

I go out in the summer sunshine and the winter rain and fight the hills, the mud and the occasional dog along the way. I go out at week-ends and during the week and even prefer a dark, winter night.

Sometimes I go out on my own and revel in the quiet solitude of the countryside broken only by my own panting as I am trying to ride too quickly again in case some kid, i.e. someone under thirty, hurtles past as if my chain has broken.

Sometimes I go out in a group which is either led by some other kid trying to make every single day of all my years pay dearly or led by me over the less travelled trails which can be cruelly referred to as “off-piste”.

But the best thing to get you off the sofa and out on your bike is maths. Live to you are eighty – 29220 days or so. Halfway now – 15000 left. Twenty years riding left – only 7000. Working 200 days per year – 3000 left or 150 in a year. Sickness, holidays, gardens, shopping, kids – down to 100. Ten days a month. How many do you actually manage at the moment – four. Cold, wet, dark, hungover – how many chances do you have left?

Stop reading this and go out on your bike.

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