It’s several months since the idea of cycling was first gently mooted over food and prosecco and 4 months since the first tentative spins of the pedals took place. At that point the Cycletta seemed a lifetime away and there were many glib comments regarding having plenty of time to get fit, organised, team t-shirts etc… Well since that point there have been major transformations…. The Purple Peril is now the Burgundy Bombshell, the team has expanded, new bikes have been purchased, my week in Tuscany has mutated into a week in Provence, shopping now takes place in cave like Emporiums of metal and rubber – and we’re not talking Viv Westwood here, conversations regarding style now include discussions of type of bike carrier, – indeed on a detour on a cycle ride yesterday to collect a brochure from a car showroom one of the key questions was regarding the type and accessibility of the bike carrier rather than that other critical factor, the colour. Our bodies have transformed and there are signs of leaner meaner shapes – and the pedals spin faster now.
But there are somethings that have not transformed – our love of spending time with friends, shopping and scoffing. A rather wonderful piece of scoffing recently took place at an afternoon tea party which was just up our street -cakes, scones and champagne, good company and conversation to raise funds for a local cancer charity. Beautifully put together and all home-made we scoffed guilt free safe in the knowledge we would burn it off through pedal power. What a transformation! 5 months ago there would have been more guilt floating than you would find in any convent school – well from me at least. There would be the murmur of ‘I really shouldn’t’ followed by ‘I’m only being polite… it would be rude not too’ to justify hoovering up everything in sight.
Sunday cycling has become a norm now and once again powered through fear of the Cycletta approaching like a runaway train, my scone scoffing cycling sister and I set out yesterday to attempt to go the distance. Following an encounter with 3 aged walkers – think Last of the Summer Wine meets Cocoon- who scarily we had seen last Sunday as well – geriatric stalking comes to mind…. we demonstrated to ourselves definite signs of transformation as we made it up the longest hill in Lancashire (I maybe exaggerating slightly here) me slower than ever but with only minimal walking whereas previously I would have been stomping up it from the start! As we reached the summit the heavens opened and here perhaps was proof of our transformation from Ladies that Lunch to the Stoic Sisterhood of Cyclists. We sheltered briefly under a tree, shared a muesli bar and broke out the Emergency Poncho – now the thought of even having an Emergency Poncho about us would previously have been inconceivable. However faster than you could say – Give me that Prada handbag – my companion was swathed in something that appeared to be fashioned out of carrier bags from an economy supermarket. Far from bemoaning its obvious lack of style, we admired the wonderful draping and large capacity not to mention the handy hood which slipped under her helmet. Our oohs and ahhs were worthy of the front row of any show at New York Fashion Week, Victoria Beckham eat your heart out. We only required the one EP as I had my trusty purple waterproof strapped to the Burgundy Bombshell’s carrier – not that it had had much use prior to the cycling adventure – it had been purchased in case of a tempest at an open air performance of Macbeth and had then languished in the car boot for at least two years. Now you are looking at two women of a certain age here who previously have spent many a Sunday out and about – mainly in the changing rooms of fashion emporiums or seeking the perfect Egyptian cotton sheets. These pastimes will still take place and no doubt fill our hearts with joy as much as the wonderful afternoon tea party, but may be less frequent as we continue to pedal the canals and byways rain or shine. So with not a care for our appearance – and secure in the knowledge we won’t be figuring on any of the wonderful Cycle Chic Sites, we set off on a slightly terrifying freewheel back down the hill – the yellow cape billowing like the front sail on a racing yacht, but boy , did we get some envious comments from the sorry soggy cyclists and walkers we flew past. Now to many of you this may seem trivial, but to us it is a small thing which demonstrates a big change, a change in our lifestyle, a change in our attitude to life and a change in what matters to us.
Over the past months what has continued to matter to us, is why we are doing this, why we even have such a thing as an emergency poncho about us. It is the desire to raise money for our chosen local charity The John Bury Trust which aims to help young people transform their lives. We support organisations and individuals in small ways which will make a difference in their lives and help them reach their full potential. This weekend validated our decision when we attended the annual Talent Show and were treated to a fabulous night of local talent. Dancers, singers and supporters entertained an enthusiastic crowd at King Georges Hall giving everyone a great night out whilst raising badly needed funds.
Those of us who will shortly be pedalling round the roads of Cheshire for the charity will have gone through a range of transformations, big and small, physical and mental, but I am sure that whatever has changed within ourselves it will be for the better. Our aim is that by transforming a part of our own lives we can help make a major difference and really transform the lives of some who need it most.
Our sponsorship link is http://www.justgiving.com/cycletta