Friday, 21 December 2012


Like most of you I have a next-door neighbour. So far he hasn’t appeared on any of these pages. I don’t encounter him all that often and when I do we have a slightly stumbling discussion, about the vagaries of both the weather and the bin men, after which we might shuffle about a bit in the certain knowledge that our small talk has come to its end and one of us will say ‘really must be getting on’.

If I ever snap and embark on a killing spree he’ll be able to tell the press, with all sincerety, that I was a quiet man who went out on his bike - sometimes early in the morning. And I’ll be able to say the same about him - except he doesn’t ride a bike - well he does, but its a motorbike.

But the other day when I saw him he said - ‘You’re a bit of a cyclist aren’t you?’ It seems that because cycling in the UK is now such a massive success, everyone wants to take an interest - okay fair enough, when he asked me about Stan Boardman’s Lotus bike I realised his research was somewhat lacking - but at least he was interested - his next question was: ‘You ever rode a time-trial, like that Bradley bloke?” - its kind of a random question really - a bit like asking a pub footballer if he’s ever tried to mark Wayne Rooney. I told him I had - but many, many years ago, and only 10 miles and I wasn’t very good. “Do you reckon I could do it” he said “I play a bit of golf, and it doesn’t look too hard - if that Bradley bloke can do it I reckon I could”
“Yes" I said - "give it a go - you might think about winning the Tour de France as well”

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