This time of year more than ever as people look forward to a few well earned days off when they can spend time with their beloved
bikes families it falls to blogs like this to wear their social consciences on their sleeves and to good people like you to think of those less fortunate than yourselves. Imagine, if you can, if every time you went out for a bike ride instead of your fast light bike and proper cycling gear you had only a massively heavy bit of disgarded agricultural machinery to ride and if you had to wear daft baggy shorts with a rucksack on your back like some rambler trying to look fashionable and cool but only having an early eighties aerobics video to work from. Imagine if everytime you came to a hill on your bike you had to get a lift to the top in a van because you were only able to ride down hills, not up them. Imagine if old ladies on shopping bikes kept a tally scratched on their fully laden baskets of how many times they had dropped you. Yes, in this year’s Northernbike appeal we’re asking you to think of people who ride mountain bikes.
If you come back from a ride all covered in mud and crap it means you’ve either crashed, accidentally stumbled into a cross event or somebody stole your mudguards while you were out. For mountain bikers this is how they end every ride. Why not help an MTBer by offering them a much needed christmas bath, or if that is too much, just a cold hose down in the garden would be a welcome gift to them and show them how much you care. MTBers often experience loneliness as when they go out for a ride they can’t hear each other talk over the noise of their big fat soft nobbly tyres and they are too out of breath to get any words out anyway. This christmas, if you happen upon a mountain biker whilst out on a ride instead of whizzing past them, glancing back only to grin at their little red puffing mud spattered face, why not get off your bike and walk alongside them as they ride to make them feel that society hasn’t forgotten them completely. Why not invite them into your home, particularly if you have a bungalow or a stairlift as remember they can’t go up hills, and make them feel at ease by lying face down in your herbacious border, calling everyone dude and decanting that special bottle of Nuits St Georges you’ve been saving for christmas into a platypus backpack and sucking it out of a bendy rubber tube.
It’s easy to forget that not everyone is as lucky as us. This year, all I ask is you think for a moment about your local mountain biker. If you want to make a donation then £1 will buy them some shower gel, £20 will fund a pair of mudguards and £500 will get them a proper bike. It’s not the money that is really important here though. The main thing is to walk a mile in their shoes as they will walk many miles every ride in them. Yes, all I’m really asking is that you show that you respect them and that you love them for one day, then you can go back to normal on Boxing Day. Thank you for caring.