How to cure a cyclist

This week’s blog takes the form of an instruction guide, full of handy hints and tips. I have done this because I know when I joined this strange and unknown world, I would have loved for someone to have been there before me, with the essential do’s and don’ts.

There are three very important things to remember when attempting to cure cyclists and I will outline them here.

The first, and perhaps most important point, is that you cannot cure a cyclist without his (or her) bike. The bike is an incredibly important part of the cyclist. Afterall, without their bicycle, they are just a person and people can get a little funny if you try to cure them without cause, rhyme or reason.

Secondly, whilst cyclists are not an aggressive breed, they may not take too kindly to you chasing them down the street with a butterfly net and a syringe filled with tranquiliser. Try and remember that they do consider themselves to be “human” and as such, you will need to be confident in explaining the key reasons why, as a cyclist, they need curing. Explain to them that everyone else on the road adheres to certain rules, such as red traffic lights and it is their lack of respect for these things, which get children knocked down. If they come back at you, telling you they are reducing their carbon footprint, then explain that they are the ones arriving in the office pink and sweaty. Then take a step back and say “ner, ner na ner ner.” It works a treat every time. It is also worth pointing out to them that strapping a flashing light, the size of the head of a matchstick to the front of their bike, does NOT mean it is safe for them to cycle in the dark. As a cyclist, you are very vulnerable on the road, so ride like it! Don’t just swing out in front of cars, or cycle in the pitch black along busy roads. (It is worth noting that it is more worthwhile curing a cyclist whilst they are still alive. Arriving at the accident scene with your butterfly net can be seen as both tasteless and ironic. Plus, you have the difficulty of deciding who should get the cyclist – after all, you aren’t allowed to pick up any roadkill that you hit.)

The third tip, which I wish someone had told me before I started out on my journey is this: add a spoonful of sugar to the salt cure and to get a really top flavour, consider a honey roast dressing. Cyclists are naturally very salty (from all that sweat), so you need to exercise a little caution about adding too much salt during the curing process. A dab of sugar just sorts the balance out.

I’m sure you all have tried and tested curing recipes, so I won’t patronise you and bore everyone with the details of that. But I have just a few do’s and don’ts for along the way.

Do use a good quality cut of thigh. There won’t be excess fat on a cyclists thigh and it cooks so very well.

Don’t try to knock them down on the road. Firstly, it’s seen as very unsporting to catch one when they are down. Secondly (as discussed earlier) you cannot claim any roadkill you have knocked down yourself.

Do make sure they are clear why you are doing this; as a driver, a cyclist is one of the most irritating of road hazards.

Don’t be tempted to use a tranquiliser dart from a distance when they are cycling; although the results are visually entertaining, it is not sporting.

Now, I think you are ready to enter the world of curing; good luck and most of all, enjoy!

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Optimistic dreamer seeks enthusiastic lunatic

For those of you who have been following me from the beginning of the year, you may have seen relatively little mention of my new year’s resolution to cycle the London to Brighton. Essentially, where it all went wrong was going away on holiday the day that the entries opened. So my dream of cycling from London to Brighton was not to be, but it was a nice idea. I brushed this under the carpet, but after the events of the past few weeks, I realised that I still really wanted to do something for charity.

I have got a higher than normal proportion of friends that have travelled in helicopters, but not because they live a rich, high life. It is a result of competing horses in hard to reach places. The Thames Valley Air Ambulance service are simply fantastic; the staff are committed and dedicated and the service is invaluable to many horse riders, motorbikers and ramblers. I am very lucky and thankful to have avoided any personal contact with the TVAA, but after an accident involving a friend of mine a fortnight ago, I realised just how crucial this service is. They receive no funding for the service they provide, which makes fundraising and donations all the more important to them. We are making a concerted effort to raise money for them at our next Riding Club qualifier, but I feel that I would like to make a personal contribution for them and this is where you guys come in.

I desperately wanted to find a race that was achievable, but sounded pretty damn impressive. I have done a couple of different adventure races by the Rat Race company and so this was the first place I turned to. I have got my heart set on completing the Nokia Coast to Coast Challenge across Scotland in September. It goes from Nairn to Inverness and covers 109 miles over the course of the weekend. The majority of the distance is cycling with a chunk of running and a tiny bit of kayaking. They claim that if you can run 10km comfortably, then this is something that you can achieve. You can find all the information about the race on this website – http://www.scotlandcoasttocoast.com/challenger.html

So now I just need someone to do the race with. I am very enthusiastic and am prepared for the hard graft; I haven’t run since October, but have entered a 10km race with two days notice to get myself into gear for this race. I still haven’t had my bike serviced, but it’s not for a lack of trying. After various crossed wires, I established that the dentist would not service my bike and I still can’t get hold of the bloody bike shop. But rest assured, I will have a working bike in the next week or so.

I am not a naturally gifted sportswoman; when running, my legs and arms flail around like windmills whilst my face turns increasingly purple, so I think it is fair to say that talent is very much optional when I’m looking for a potential partner. The most important thing in a buddy to me is that they have the same irresistable urge to do something mad and that they have a great sense of humour. When I have run and cycled over 50 miles and am expected to sleep in a tiny tent, I need someone that is going to make me smile and forget the gruelling 50 miles that are ahead of us.

This feels a little like writing a personal ad. I am a bubbly 23 year old with a GSOH; isn’t that what they write? I have no idea, but I think they should be a lot more honest in these adverts. Whoever I do this challenge with is going to see me at rock bottom and they need to know what I will be like. At the beginning, I’ll be pumped with adrenaline and will talk too much. Towards the end, I’ll get grumpy and defeatist. But despite all that, my heart is in the right place and I really want to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

I am writing this in the hope that you will help me to find the perfect partner for my adventure. Please share this with as many people as you possibly can so that I can find a likeminded lunatic. If you are interested in doing the race, catch up with me here or on twitter. I lurk there most days and am fairly easy to get hold of.