THE cycling season has well and truly begun and following the classic Paris-Roubaix earlier this month, it inspired me to get the bike out of its winter hibernation.

Paris-Roubaix is an infamous one-day race in the cycling calendar due to its length and the amount of cobbled roads on the route from the north of the capital to Roubaix, near Lille and the Belgian border 200 miles away. The cyclists are either covered in dust or mud, depending on whether it rains during the race. Many participants fall on the rough cobbles or see their bikes suffer mechanical problems. There are many obstacles on this race and a rider really earns their stripes if they win.

With this is mind, my friend Graham and I devised a 30-mile route which would take in some of our fine countryside. There is nothing more impressive than a peloton of professional riders, hurtling along at 35+mph on the flat. Just as impressive is the amazing feat of stamina as they climb mountain after mountain, mile after mile, day after day during races like the Tour de France.

However, what is not as impressive is two middle-aged men, dressed in lycra on their race bikes trying to emulate these amazing athletes. We are what are known as M.A.M.I.L.S in cycling circles, which stands for Middle Aged Men In Lycra. I couldn't care less as we sped through villages, heading towards the best place to take in a beautiful view. We then decided to compete in a time-trial back to home again, ready to check our performance on our mobile phone apps. Half an hour later, Graham goes to leave. I lift myself from the chair and am unable to straighten my back due to the pain. My neck is also stiff with can only be whiplash- type symptoms. I've spent the past few days walking like John Wayne.


The other day, the door-bell rang at the worst possible moment. My daughter had just settled for her afternoon nap after half an hour and I thought I would get 40 winks after a hectic morning at work. I had just nodded off when the bell went. Any thought of ignoring it went as both dogs started barking. The fear of the noise waking Holly meant I sprang out of bed and thundered down the stairs. Half way down, I slipped. After I crashed into the central pillar of the staircase, I assessed my injuries. One hand was burnt from the rail and the other gashed, along with a nasty bruise on my side. I opened the door before declining a copy of Watchtower as kindly as I could.


I do love my gadgets but I had fallen out of love with my MacBook after a recent update made it run slower than a snail in treacle. Mac users normally scoff at Microsoft users and all the issues they have to put up with, especially when Windows 10 was downloaded. The latest operating system for the MacBook is called Sierra and putting it onto my three-year-old machine made it virtually useless. I’ve fallen in love with it all over again though after a visit to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store at West Quay. After turning off the FileVault the problem was sorted. The other positive, this help was free of charge. Now that’s what I call service.

Rick Jackson hosts the Breakfast Show on Wave 105 Monday to Friday at 5.30AM – 9AM

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