I generally ride alone, that way I can go out when and where I want. The exceptions being club rides on Sunday, rides with my beloved and rides with my coach. Yesterday I chanced upon a chap who’d had an “Andy Schleck”. That’s right, his chain had slipped. I got off my bike and quickly had the offending item back in place. He was impressed. Probably thinking if only she’d been standing on the roadside when Schleck lost his chain, things might have been different………………..

He then decided to ride with me  and regale me with some of his cycling adventures. When we reached the top of the hill, he said he had to turn round as his Mum wouldn’t let him ride beyond this point – well he was only 10! I explained that I was doing interval training and I too was riding back down the hill, only to ascend it again. We set off together, although I did have to modify my speed. I told him that if he was really keen on riding, he should a) get a helmet  and b) join a cycling club.

He did tell me that he wished his Mum would ride with him but she was too old to ride a bike. I had to choke back my laughter as I’m old enough to be his Grandmother, let alone his mother. However, I decided not to enlighten him about this as we rode back up the hill again. He attempted to emulate my sprinting out of the saddle and then showed me how he could ride without hands. Feeling I could not be bested by a 10 year old, I too rode for my longest stretch ever without hands.  

As we parted company he solemnly shook my hand and said he’d really enjoyed riding with me and if I was ever in the neighbourhood again to knock on his door to see if he was available to play! That one’s going to be a babe magnet before too long, mark my words.

Wednesday Postscript: Descending at speed today, I saw my new best friend in the distance, so slowed as I approached.  He said he had been hoping to see me again and wanted me to meet his mother. To say she was quite taken aback would be putting it mildly. Either she had assumed I was an imaginary friend or, more probably, someone nearer her son’s age. I introduced myself to her as I high-fived my friend who was at pains to point out to his mother that I was a real cyclist – bless.

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