30 Days of Biking in the South Pennines

Joining in the fun with #30daysofbiking

Ruth’s Diary of a Novice : Day 6 Its all about the Look.


Last night I dreamt that I was a really good cyclist, whizzing up hills with grace and ease. This was obviously a fantasy as I am not. I am however fast on my way to entering the “all the gear and no idea” category now that I have my padded lycra.

In the queue for the bar yesterday a very nice man from touring theatre company “Mind the Gap” mistook me for a cyclist simply because I was wearing a helmet. Its odd that these days you can feel part of a sport simply because you have the right look. It reminded me that I used to go climbing in my youth until folk realised that all I did was belay for everyone else and swank around in the climber’s cafe wearing all the gear, having never got more than an inch off the ground.

Wearing the gear but actually not cycling would however be very naughty of me so today I took a witness with me on our ride – my very good friend and neighbour Ali. She has a lovely bike, ALL the gear and a man to sort out her bike for her, so now I have bike envy and man envy.

Anyhow, we crawled down to that new sculptural square in Luddendenfoot (who put that in – its so wonderful??) – I say crawled because I haven’t yet learnt how to take my hands off both brakes to go down hill. Once on route 66 on our way to Mytholmroyd, I was able to catch Ali up and learn a little bit about my gears as apparently I wasn’t using them properly. I only have 16 – but that seems an awful lot when I can do 80 miles an hour in my van with only 5. Presumably if I ever get up to gear 16 I will be in orbit.

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We passed two blokes on mountain bikes as we entered Hebden who shouted as they screeched past “how come you two are so CLEAN?”. Fearful that I simply wouldn’t look the part when we got into town, I quickly sought out and stomped around in the some puddles whilst silently cursing all that wonderful work that has been done to improve route 66 so that you don’t actually have to get dirty.


So – we arrived home (after a short walk up the very steep bit) very much looking the part; wet, muddy, lycra-clad, tired and glowing. Its definitely all about the look.Tomorrow I’m going to cycle to work in a frock and see how that works. .

2 thoughts on “Ruth’s Diary of a Novice : Day 6 Its all about the Look.

  1. I hope you get to gear 16 Ruth! You are most definitely a cyclist-you went to a cafe!

  2. You are very funny. X

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