Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CTC Cycle ride 01/03/2008: Oxford - Waterperry - Chearsley - Oxford

A moderate route this time; just over 40 miles. Still more than a year's cycling for an average adult in the UK, though - I should remember that. So, this pastime is a little out of the ordinary, a bit unusual. This weekend, I tried to understand why people do it, why those people spend their Sunday out on quiet roads, on their bikes.

The first thing to note is, they can't all have the same reasons; these are dissimilar people, aged 12 to (um, 70?), brought together by a single shared interest. That said, there is a common thread.

Apart from the 12 yr old, all have jobs, or family, or other commitments to the world. Not one of them is alt lifestyle or itinerant; i'd guess every one of them is on the electoral register. Respectable people! So, on Sundays, they get to act like children. Out in the air and sun all day, looking at the trees and listening to the birds, plodding up hills and whizzing down them on their bikes. (Um, that would be healthy well-behaved children, then, not the C21st UK variety).

Who can blame them? It's fun, even before you add in meeting people with non-overlapping knowledge / specialist fields. There was a new Classics senior lecturer and a physicist out this Sunday, for example, so conversation can include both electromagnetic induction and Pompeii.

Maybe it is escapism. But once a week, why not? This month, Monday to Friday, I'm on an anatomy course, 9 to 5; if i get on a bike at the weekends, who's to know?

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