I have to confess, I’m not your average Bike Blogger. I haven’t been riding a bike since I could walk, I haven’t been tinkering with tools since I could talk, I’ve never ridden a fixie, drop handlebars terrify me, and I get nervous when riding downhill.
Even watching Line of Sight was enough to give me nightmares.
So why am I doing this?
I’m a blogger at heart. I love writing and sharing my thoughts with anyone who wants to read them, but in the last year or so I’ve been short of content. My blogging habits depend heavily on what I’ve got going on in my life, and they tend to thrive when I’m learning something new.
I spent a couple of years blogging about food, because I was learning to cook and discovering ingredients I’d never heard of before. Now I cook on autopilot and I no longer feel the need to share my experiments in the kitchen.
I spent a year or so blogging about online dating because, let’s face it, the whole process can be hilarious and I had some horrific experiences that people could laugh at. My online dating days are over now.
I even had an academic blog for a while, when I was fresh out of my Masters and convinced I was going to be this renowned professor of Art History. That dream died, hard.
So last night, following another rejection from a job that I really wanted, in a moment of hopelessness, I asked myself: “what’s going on?”
What’s the story of my life right now? What am I learning about? What do I want to immerse myself in?
The answer was right there in front of me, leaning against the wall in my kitchen, with my helmet hanging from its handlebars and my hoodie draped half-arsed across its rear rack.
I’ve been commuting by bike for the last three years or so, and while I’ve always enjoyed cycling, it was never really much more than a way of getting to work and back.
That was until this summer, when I started volunteering at The Bristol Bike Project. Over the past 5 or 6 months I’ve been slowly learning about bikes: how they’re put together, how to fix them when they break, and how much more connected you can feel with them when you give them your time and attention.
Since then I started getting out on more rides, I’ve become more involved in Bristol’s cycling community, Critical Mass, and more. And now I feel ready to write about it.
This blog is a space for me to explore and learn. If you’re a seasoned cyclist or bike mechanic, it’s all going to seem pretty basic. But if you’re like me – if you know you like bikes but you’re not able to explain why, if you’d love to learn more about them, if you want to learn to fix them but you’re nervous about getting stuck in – maybe you can learn with me.