Friday, May 5, 2017

How do we find the time?

While we were up in the Lakes riding our bikes at Easter, someone on twitter asked me a question. A question to which I didn't have a concise 140 character reply.

......"How do you guys fit in all the cycling".......... 



I'll start from the beginning. Before kids I was a cyclist, climber, runner. I had plenty of time to do as I wished.

When my wife and I had kids I chose to be the primary carer.

My aspirations in terms of career, and achievement in sport were no longer major goals.

If my main role was to look after and nurture our kids, then that was fine by me. I worked, but part time. The kids came first. Though I don't miss nappy time.

I dragged them round in bike trailers, we walked up hills, they threw pebbles on the beach. We made time to get out there rather than spend all of our days watching CBeebies.

As my daughter grew up she moved away from the outdoors  and found other interests. Happy daughter.

Tom from his first big ride was smitten with cycling. Obviously we'd go riding together, but if I tried to sneak off to do a longer faster ride, Tom would insist on him coming out too.

Tom by the age of 7 was riding big distances. Like any 7 year old, big distances take time. So Tom and I would disappear for a weekend, a week, or even over most of the Xmas festive season to ride our bikes. My wife wold drop us off places, and sometimes pick us up from others. She is supportive of what we do, and immensely proud of Tom's achievements. She does go off on one though when we leave tools, bike parts or muddy clothes lying about.

Each year Tom has wanted to ride further and longer. We planned a big ride last summer, and in preparation for that we rode 2-3 nights after school and at least one day at the weekend if not both.

By the end of 2016 Tom's total for the year was around 5000 miles an average of 12 hours cycling every week of the year. That still gave us plenty of other time for family stuff. Oh and for Tom to play with his pals after school once a week, do his homework and get a top report from school.

This year has been an odd one, we've ridden our bikes, but haven't done anything like as many miles compared to last year. The last few weeks I've been doing a bit more work than previous, but we've still managed the odd trip.

Speaking of work, I've been looking around for something full time,that still had some flexibility.

I'd heard of a job that would tick those boxes, but would clash with a trip we'd penciled in for this summer. There was a decision to make.


I spoke with Tom, he still wanted to do the ride. The full time job would have to wait,

From the top of Norway across Europe to the foot of Spain. Another big ride that I'm sure we will talk about for years to come.

The main reason I've written this lengthy answer is I've been to two cyclists funerals this year who died too young, Charlie Craig and Mike Hall.

There is a temptation, to what if, dream, make half plans for the future, procrastinate and not get out there and do as Charlie and Mike did.

Find the time to ride. #rideforcharlie #bemoremike