A Boy And A Bicycle – Part 2

Heath-land in the New Forest, where I used to ride my bike as a teen.

The devil in me

I was a mischievous little tyke back then at 16. I was training and racing with the Bournemouth Arrows while studying and taking my O-Levels at school. My father, with his Victorian beliefs and draconian ways, was keen for me to do well in my education.

He was the ‘head of the household’ after all.

He wanted me to excel in some respected profession like: Doctor, Banker or Architect. My mother, on the other hand, was softer and more into the idea of me doing something that made me happy. As a result, she was very supportive of me pursuing my music career or riding my bike. She would happily drive me around the country far and wide to different race meetings, time trials and track sessions.

My rebellion

Like all self-respecting teens, I took it upon myself to rebel against my father, whose influence was the one that counted; after all, he was the “head of the household”.

About me, the boy.
About me, the boy.

Ultimately, I convinced myself I was no good as a bike rider.

The most effective way to disappoint him was to follow my passion for music and rock ‘n’ roll, as this is what he disapproved of the most. So that’s exactly what I did…

Lifestyle choices all about me

It was inevitable that my bike riding would suffer. I remember one track night at Poole Park when I came almost last in every event I raced in. I’d lost my fitness through going to the pub, rehearsing with the band and chasing good times. This was a huge downfall for the boy who had been chosen to ride for the South Of England under 16 squad. Ultimately, I convinced myself I was no good as a bike rider. When you’re that age, with dreams of fame and fortune as a guitarist in a supergroup, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that I’d sell my soul to the obvious winner.

Soon after, I’d gathered my things and headed to London, the city where the streets are said to be paved with gold.

Continuing on from Part 1, this about me episode paints a picture of when, as a teen, I turned to the allure of a rock and roll lifestyle, left home for the streets of London and shunned any thought of sport or fitness for fame and fortune.