How to find freedom in chains

I spent the weekend up in Leeds, and this fine fellow was persuaded to put a new chain on my bike.

And that, coupled with a bit of extra sleep, has made all the difference to my cycling. It’s always fun riding your bike, but when you’ve got rid of the clank-crunch-grind resistance of a worn-out chain, and replaced it with something nice and taut and slippery, and when you’re well rested, and your body’s not aching all over, and all your aches and pains have died down – oh my god, it really is like flying!

I think I’ve finally put my finger on why I love this job so much. Quite simply: cycling gets you high.

It’s better than sex, better than drugs, better even than cake. I’ve been riding around at top speed all week, and experiencing the kind of rapture, ecstasy, and all-over physical joy that people spend years and fortunes trying to inject into themselves. I look forward to Monday morning every week – and spend most of that day riding around with a huge goofy smile on my face. Seriously.

And how many people do you know who say that? Added to this is the smugness of having got it right – and having managed to find my perfect, ideal, fulfilling career aged only 28. Goodness – of all the plans and ambitions I’ve had, who’d have thought I’d end up a cycle courier? The only cloud on the horizon is that it can’t possibly last. I can’t do this for the rest of my life (unless I die young, which I’ve no intention of doing), and it’s going to be a very hard act to follow.

…and yes yes, I know I’ve been overdoing it on the pointless happy posts recently. But worry not. People have started to mutter ominously about another hard winter being just round the corner – so stay tuned for tales of misery and regret, and lots of bitching about cold toes.

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5 Responses to “How to find freedom in chains”

  1. Redbike Says:

    Better than cake? – Seriously?

  2. nickc Says:

    I was going to say something along the lines of: Better than sex? You’re doing it wrong, but then I found myself nodding along. Climbing on a bike, properly hard…it’s painful but at the same time; a sort of bliss.

    weird, I’ve been trying to put my finger on it for years…

  3. welshcyclist Says:

    Well I’m 60 in February and I’m hoping to get a fixed gear bike, and I’d love a job like yours! You’re 28 now, that’s 32 years to 60, why can’t you keep cycling till then? I hope to be cycling for alot longer, yet.

  4. ecophile Says:

    It was that magic chain that did it, me being the ‘fine fellow’. Bob Trotter Cycles in York still have a few of those chains remaining (plug) for those who want to fly with Autumn instead of drag behind it.

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