Full Of Sap, Short Of Maps

I prepared badly for my first big cycle ride of the year – but as I get older, I’ve learned to grit my teeth and improvise

A map with possible cycle routes to East Anglia
Original map image: NordNordWest/Lukasb1992/Ottobdn via Wikimedia Commons

AS THE SONG so eloquently puts it, it’s been a long cold lonely winter, little darling.

But, lately, the Springtime has got to work on this old-enough-to-know-better body.

Outside, The Sap was beginning to rise and it was pleasant, at my age, to realise that I was still capable of stirring in response.

It was March already, and the wind and the rain had stopped for a bit: time to dust off my bike gear and get out there.

Continue reading “Full Of Sap, Short Of Maps”

The Long Road To Forgiving My Father

I took a long, hard bike ride at the weekend, hoping to learn something about my dead father. In the end, I found out something unexpected about me and my own children.

A path through countryside

MY DAD committed suicide almost a quarter of a century ago, and yet I am still in a relationship with him. 

He still makes me angry, because – before he asphyxiated himself with his car exhaust – he left my brother a loving note and chose not to write to me.

He still makes me insecure, because he obviously didn’t like me much.

And this rage and self-doubt he left me with combine – still – to put me in preposterous competition with a man who has been in the ground almost 25 years. 

I want to beat him by living longer (tick); by being a better Dad (tick?) and by beating my own depression (tick, sort of). 

And at the weekend, I was going to be better than him on the bike. 

Continue reading “The Long Road To Forgiving My Father”