PH BLOG: PEDAL POWER
Can't drive, can ride - Dan attempts to pedal away the winter blues
the Mazda hibernates, I've splashed some cash on a slick-shod, carbon-chassised Trek Madone road bike. One that cost more than twice as much as the Eunos, fiscal denial the only part of money-related arithmetic I've ever excelled at.
I've no intention of inviting a cars versus bikes debate and have never seen a love of both as anything strange. And as you can see, such a thing as a PH cycling jersey proves the point that I'm not the only one. But the view of your typical B-road from the saddle of one of these things is a real education. And though I'm missing my driving you might be surprised how exciting an early morning hoon can be, even with pedal power rather than horsepower.
Powered or not, anyone on two wheels has to have more awareness of this than your average car driver, but from a fast-moving road bike a stretch of road that'd be dull as ditchwater in a car can be anything but. Plenty in the motorsport world are keen cyclists too, Mark Webber well-known for his biking (and typically forthright about doping and Lance Armstrong) and, only yesterday, the World Superbike riders lapping Phillip Island on their push bikes ahead of the weekend's opening round.
Me on a bike wouldn't necessarily want to meet me in a car coming the other way but I can only do one or the other so that's alright! I jest of course; as on powered two-wheelers your vulnerability means heightened observation, anticipation, road sense and awareness are other essential skills that will be equally useful behind the wheel.
There are moments in the saddle when I do crave a bit more pace, the Nissan GT-R that flashed by me in a flurry of redlined upshifts as I chased another MAMIL up Whipsnade's Bison Hill putting me in mind of Toad from Wind In The Willows and his dazed 'poop poop!' when buzzed by one of those infernal motor cars. Yep, I admit it, I'd have readily swapped seats for that one.
more fun in a car, unsurprisingly enough.
So I can't wait to get back in the driver's seat. But I'm learning a lot from not being in it and it's not all bad. And if you see a bloke riding a bike in a PH jersey and you've got a tasty sounding car don't be shy of blipping a downshift or two and nailing it past. You'll have an appreciative audience.