Ragtime Cyclist column

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Cyclists take advantage of the good weather.
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In any group of social cyclists you will find those who take their cycling seriously, and those for whom it’s just a bit of a lark; and each to their own, of course.

You will often also find one member who takes it even less seriously than everyone else.

In fact, he seems to be one of those happy-go-lucky free spirits who takes nothing in his life very seriously, and yet seems to get on and have the same successes and failures as the rest of us.

Don’t get the wrong idea, this guy can hold his own on a bike – he’s no mug – but he manages to do so with a strong sense of the ridiculous.

Not for him, the pristine bike with matching seat and bar tape, high-tech low weight wheels, and mirror sheen chain-rings - he chooses to clock up the mileage on a bike sporting multi-coloured harlequin pattern handlebars, a luminous orange home made custom paint job, skull and crossbones dust caps, and a bell.

Judging by the old tape marks on the end of his handlebars bars he may also have had streamers attached at some point.

But his bike is just the start, and you never know quite what he will be wearing either.

He might turn up with a Tom Selleck 70s style chest wig under his lycra jersey, wearing a woolly jumper, or, when he’s really trying to be funny, a Spider-man one piece lycra skin-suit (complete with lycra Spider-man balaclava).

Incidentally, the Spider-man skin-suit actually turns out to be a very effective and aerodynamic piece of kit.

(At this point you might think I’m exaggerating but trust me, I know this guy!)

The great thing about riding with this joker is that due to his lazer-guided need to find the funny in everything, before you know it you have forgotten the pain in the legs and you are no longer dwelling on the burning sensation in your lungs.

Not for him the kind of earnest suffer-fest that some riders like to take pleasure in on a Sunday morning; when you ride with this guy, everything is funny.