Typical, I thought, coming out of the shop. You don’t see any cyclists all week and then three of them come along at once. For suddenly there were bikes parked outside, a sprightly older woman in a helmet coming in, and two wiry old boys in lycra waiting outside. Turns out that I had bumped into Bigtownshires’ nonegarian* cycling club. I had looked for a local cycling group when I came up here but even the least serious of them seemed a bit fierce, with long scheduled rides and rules about bringing along spare inner tubes and what have you and I decided they weren’t for me and carried on pedalling around on my own.
But anyway, I got chatting to these guys and they’re going to send me a program of events. I was a little worried that they might be a bit fast or fit or hardy for me – they all had those sorts of ancient looking road bikes that are held together by handlebar tape and which I swear must have hidden motors in them somewhere – but they explained that wasn’t the way it worked.
‘We don’t ride together,’ one of them said. ‘We just meet for lunch and then disperse. You can ride the whole way in or drive part of the way there – you go as far and as fast as you like.’
In fact, we’ve only got one rule,’ the other added. ‘You have to be at the designated pub by twelve.’
Now that’s the sort of rule I think I can obey.