Ragtime Cyclist column

Cyclists take advantage of the good weather.
Cyclists take advantage of the good weather.

Many years ago, I used to sit at my desk at work during the long summer months, blissfully unaware of all the bike related fun my friends might be up to.

Well, ok, not quite blissfully, but unaware.

You get the idea.

I would peer out at the sunshine past emails and spreadsheets, bemoaning the fact that any hair-brained schemes which might result in me riding my bike in the sunshine for a living were clearly a long way off.

It was enough to know that various cycling companions of mine were out there somewhere, drinking in the life affirming joy of a ride up a big French col or down some long sweeping Pyrenean valley, without them getting in touch through the wonder of modern technology to remind me of it.

I didn’t begrudge them (perish the thought), but I was certainly jealous (obviously), and I didn’t really need to know the details, in real time, mile by mile, café by café.

That sort of thing doesn’t help me get through a long day in the office.

There was a time not that long ago when it felt like a genuine achievement to have sent a holiday postcard, and return home to find that it had reached the UK before you did (it was a simpler time).

Here in 2014 many of us have more computer processing power in the palm of our hands than was used to put a man on the moon, and the thought of sticking a stamp onto a postcard and putting it into a letterbox seems like a very strange way of doing things.

Now, barely a summer day goes by without some photo winging its way across to me from some glorious stretch of tarmac in the south of France, or a selfie from the summit of some romantically named Italian mountain in the Dolomites.

I’m pleased that my friends are having fun on their bikes, but all this excessive sharing of experiences in real time does have a downside.

Not only do you get the feeling that life is happening somewhere else without you, but you end up with a phone full of someone else’s holiday snaps.