Leading from the Back

August 4, 2017

As anyone who has any regular dealings with me will know, I have mad ideas the way a dog has fleas – some of which turn out okay, some of which, probably fortunately, remain firmly in pub conversation territory (although I’m still a little sad that my vision of a literary bus that would act as a mobile event space bringing books to the Bigtownshire masses got scuppered by the literary development officer at the time on the grounds that it was ‘a stupid idea’. I’d even got as far as pricing up buses, too (what can I say, I was probably under an important deadline and spending time pricing up secondhand buses would have seemed like a exactly the sort of thing I should be prioritising at the time)).

Anyway, a chance conversation at an open garden afternoon a few weeks ago has somehow turned into this – a 49-mile round trip to attend a church tea, for reasons which seemed entirely sensible when it was being discussed in the pub. And which starts with a long ride uphill (effectively – I have just worked out – the climb up the hill to our house, times two) and goes on, at some length, from there.

I think I’ll be able to manage it – even accounting for the fact that I will have a seven mile ride just to get to the start – but I’m feeling a little bit unqualified to actually lead it. I’m not entirely certain who will turn up on the day, but it’s likely that there will be some people turning up for whom a 49-mile ride for cake will genuinely be a doddle. We had some great turnouts for our winter rides this year, but it is fair to say that the resulting pace has been a tad on the quick side, and the reason why I’ve been hanging out at the back wasn’t solely because I wanted to make sure nobody got left behind. I might ride my bike a fair bit compared to the average normal person, but compared to an actual cyclist I am neither fast nor particularly quick.

So I’m just hoping that my fellow cake raiders will take the event in the spirit in which it was intended and not, effectively, leave their ride leader in the dust. Or failing that, that they will at least wait for her at the top of the hills…

And if not, at least it might be a lesson to me not to have so many daft ideas, or at least to keep them in the pub where they belong.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some secondhand buses to price.