I become a cyclist.
Trying to discover if the government's insistence on making sure nobody has any life could make cycling a bit more enjoyable. It didn't.
For the record, I only actually went cycling because my friend asked me too and because I can only let my friends down so many times before I have to commit to something for once.
Unfortunately yesterday was one such day.
My first look at my bike in about half a year reminded me of everything I hated about it. It's stupid red frame was unfortunately in immaculate condition. Mind you wouldn't it be I hadnt exactly been using it for a while. Nonetheless I dragged it out onto the road and prayed that I wouldn't have a flat tire. Or prayed I did. Either way it was fine in the end.
And from there everything went downhill. That's why I'm writing this, because after three people I ran out of living entities to complain to.
So here's a couple of observations I made on my trip to the outside world:
Cars drive on the road:
I think my adventure was very eye-opening and awe inspiring, because I usually see cyclists from the 'back seat of a car' perspective. Meaning I hate them for putting their silly metal frames on the roads which are actually there for cars, and expect drivers to provide them with the extra meter of space that we don't have to keep the two vehicles apart, something the incompetent irish government seem to insist is actually possible. Newsflash Mr Taoiseach, not everywhere is Dublin mate. It's that or the spare space is invisible.
Anyway you can't go on the path because there are human beings on the path. But cycling on the road is like being a goldfish in a tank of whales. A very realistic comparison of course. When a big Range Rover flies by on the bumpy country roads (ok granted not everything in this country is actually countryside) and you have all the bravery of that goldfish I mentioned earlier who isn't very brave, you may consider a quick reroute via the ditch. And annoyingly for bike lovers here, everyone keeps buying Range Rovers. Well by everyone I mean the rich people. The poor people drive '99 Corollas. Anyway regardless of what they are driving not every country faces a budget so high they can afford to dedicate entire roads to bicycles and so that has not happened here. Besides that we don't have the space. To summarize, bikes don't fit on these roads, and they can't go on pavements now either. I guess that really does leave the ditch.
Bikes are not very nice vehicles:
The more eagle eyed among you may have noticed that this indeed, is not a bike.
You may think that this Nissan Qashqai +2 is a ride that would be difficult to downgrade from, but I really do believe that when I was out on my bike in whatever temperature it was (probably -40.....celsius) that I had done it. I think if I were to put 1 million euro that I haven't got on the line for somebody to find me an actually comfortable bicycle that doesn't cost me my left arm to buy, no one could do it. And I am genuinely convinced of that at this point. There is literally nothing nice about them, except pressing the bell, and even that get's boring pretty quickly, or is unreachable because you're supposed to have hands like a giant's to reach the stupid thing.
The handlebars made my hands ache from having to hold them the way you do, the pedals needed pushing and I don't know who's idea that was, but if you're reading this just know it was a terrible idea altogether. The ride was so unbearable (and keep in mind I have been assured I have a very decent suspension kit on my bike which I didn't even know about until 2 days ago) that every stone felt like a boulder and I sort of wish it had been a boulder so the tire could've deflated.
And when can you use bicycles? Never. Because in Ireland where it's never anything other than dull and cold apart from like three days in the middle of June you can't cycle without arriving home soaking wet with pneumonia or borderline considering playing chicken on the main road, but without the part where you actually chicken out.
Rain. Not exactly the conditions we usually deal with but I think this makes it a little more interesting if truth be told.
The only bit of the ride I actually enjoyed was the bit where we had to stop because I dropped my pack of fruit gums all over the road. As humiliating and heart wrenching as the initial incident was, I became grateful that it granted me the opportunity to take pride in the 100m I had done during this entire ordeal.
And the last point is I am very lazy:
Somehow I'm quite fit for my age. I mean I am forced out of my home every day to take Lily the dog for a walk and usually walk into the village quite often otherwise, and then would be in the garden doing work and stuff like that (I guess it sort of cumulates in a weird way). But no particular gear ever suited the 101 factors to be considered for any given part of my journey. I mean fair enough there isn't going to be a gear for someone who would rather be at home drinking hot chocolate and arguing with stupid idiots on the internet over the fact that the Lamborghini Countach isn't actually a very cool car at all, and may even be considered.....
🎆a piece of junk🎆.
But even so I either had to peddle at 1000 rotations per minute or just 1, because apparently that's the difference in a gear change. I wasn't particularly exhausted or anything like that but considering all the ways I could get around in the 21st century, if I were to compare the energy expended over a distance and how long it took me to cover said distance, a car would be more preferrable. Okay of course that's a very simple thing to say, but I am aware why people would cycle instead too.
But to the lazy people out there, I would advise you turn up the radio, adjust the aircon and be on your way in your motorised vehicle instead. The comfort and content feeling is worth the extra cost.
So what can we take from this?
Very, very little. There is really nothing to be gained or lost from this article, except maybe the feeling that I have expressed a grievance and as such will feel enlightened by it. I really don't know why you read it to be honest.
But either way, I guess if you do want to learn something from this educational and informative piece, please take this information away with you.
I hate bicycles. Thank you for reading.