Whoever coined the term "It's like riding a bike, you never forget" was, in my opinion, a moron. Not only this but cycling is an uncomfortable and unforgiving 'hobby' undertaken in costumes as sexy as tomato in a tutu by men and women who care little for personal safety and even less for the sensible people held up behind them in their cars. Therefore when my friend Billy asked me on a traditionally soggy English afternoon in February if I wanted to go on a charity cycle expedition to Sardinia in May I thought about it for about 3 seconds and replied "yes please".
Billy said "cool" and left the room. I booked a flight to Sardinia for May 4th, then googled where Sardinia was before finally asking Mum if I had a bike at home. As it turned out I did - perfect. "Although", said Mum, "you did put it together yourself when you were 14". No thanks. That bike can stay in the shed.
I concluded that I had four things to do before I flew on May 4th:
1) Find a bike
2) Get fit
3) Learn some handy, low key Italian phrases (Hello, thank you, where's the accident and emergency room please?)
4) Buy the most unattractive item of cycling clothing I could find
My uncle said I could borrow his bike, I considered university hockey ample fitness and forgot to learn Italian. As a result I, along with the rest of our team of five cyclists arrived at Stansted airport on May 4th 2017 having last ridden a bike to the pub on my 18th birthday, 5 years previously. That said, I did have a cycling shirt the same colour as Donald Trump's skin and an alarmingly tight pair of lycra shorts. Forget a tomato in a tutu I looked like the love child of Peter Pan and a minion.
I therefore boarded the plane having ticked off three of the four items on my list. That was plenty, I was ready.