If I'm honest, I don't really know a lot about bikes, I'm a bit fat, and I don't like going up hills all that much. I'm not sure I've always loved cycling, and cycling certainly doesn't love me, but we've always muddled through and now I find my hallway clogged up with bicycles and assorted paraphernalia, befitting the fact I make about 80% of my journeys on one of the bloody things.
A few years ago, I used to call Jonathan 'boss' - I must emphasise that this was because we worked for the same company and he was more important than me, not because of my juddering inferiority complex. Possibly out of fear of getting fired, I signed up to get involved in the original bikebritain concept as a willing behind-the-scenes volunteer, paradoxically with no concept of my involvement leading to my having to cycle any more than I currently was. My participation has evolved to the writing of profiles, articles, and one chaotic and unlikely-to-be-repeated product review for the website, and has coincided with my cycling evolving from a failed way to try and lose weight to a big part of my life. These things are, in all likelihood, linked and I'm really enjoying both of them.
I grew up in a small village and, as soon as I was able, went everywhere by bike. I remember getting a Peugeot mountain bike for my 10th birthday that had a comically excessive number of gears for one so young and inept. I remember the bike because I rode it for the next decade until I had to stop because it was a pile of rust with a saddle. The village was adjacent to the Downs Link cycle path and I took for granted the days spent pedalling the length and breadth of Sussex with my friends. University and the ubiquitous travelling followed and I'm not entirely sure I got on a bicycle at all for three or four years before, at the age of 25, I bought a road bike entirely on a whim, figuring it a cheap way and healthy way to get to work. That bike was quickly stolen, as was the one that replaced it, and the one after that, but I was not to be deterred and soon I had so little money I must've bought a bike so awful that no-one wanted it, not even for the price of a pair of bolt-cutters.
These days, on a much better bike, I cycle to and from work pretty much every day come rain or shine, take myself out on excursions for my own amusement (and to bore dozens of people on this here website), take cycling-based holidays (well, one), and even find myself voluntarily participating in a cycling endurance event two years running. I'm still resisting attempts by a certain person to make me go to Mallorca and cycle up hills, but it is only a matter of time.
I'd like to think I represent your average, and by that I mean your below-average, cyclist in the bikebritain paradigm. Somebody has to. I'm extremely impressed by the work that Jonathan has put in and the community he has created, and very proud of the money we've raised for charity. I'm also permanently surprised and delighted that people who aren't my immediate friends and family take the time to read what I've written. Long may it all continue.