Tag Archives: Jodi Picoult

Cycling is like writing

Like many other bleary-eyed fans, I’m suffering from Tour Fatigue (throw in a head cold, too). The riders have covered more than 3500 km in the past three weeks and I feel a bit like I’ve ridden with them. That’s the price to pay for the best soap opera on television.

The Tour de France delivers new twists every single day. Key characters plot and conquer or toil without reward. Fates conspire. New heroes and villains emerge. You share the ecstasies of dreams attained and agonies of dreams combusting. It’s well worth sacrificing a few week’s sleep.

Two weekends ago I jumped back on the road bike for my first serious ride in almost two months. It was very cold. My expectations were very low.

Much to my surprise, I had a great morning in the saddle. I led our bunch for at last half the 70km training ride and outpaced blokes usually much fitter than me. It was a ride to remember.

However, I won’t be making any assumptions about the next hit-out. Cycling is a a sport where, in spite of all your preparation, you can have a bad day and suffer, big time. Indeed, we witness it in the Tour annually when tough athletes are betrayed by their own bodies (or minds) and ambitions swoop away for another season.

Just as I’ve had terrible days in the saddle when the wind was in my face and every pedal stroke hurt, I’ve had days at the computer when the words won’t sing and every key stroke is a struggle. When, for all my determination, I’m pretty sure what I’m writing is rubbish.

I might pause for a cuppa but, just as I need to keep pedalling into a headwind, I have to toil on. You don’t get fit talking about exercise. And, as the uber-successful Jodi Picoult says, you can’t edit a blank page.