I want to ride my bicycle…


Once more I find myself sitting down to compose another blog – not about the latest important scientific news, such as the first human footprint recently unearthed in an excavation in Kenya and dating back 1.5 million years, or that my institute has recently had fitted a new Expresso machine in all of it’s laboratories to encourage productivity, but alas I find myself befallen to bad luck (if you believe in such a thing – I don’t, but for the sake of argument will ‘indulge’ you for the time being) such of the like I am want to christen this month ‘Black February’. I did something similar once with the year 1982 – but that is another story.

I had began this year with such optimism, indeed, turning my hand more regularly to this very column, much neglected I feel in the past, but much easier since I relocated my computer last year.

However forces started to take a turn against me only two weeks ago. I had been attending a small scientific gathering  at the Calculus Club in Soho, always an opportunity for us scientists to unwind, and for once get the chance to talk ‘off topic’, not that you can ever shut up Winston mind – if I here another “Of course when I was on television recently…”. Fortunately Hawking as ever was the first to instigate a few drinking games, he could quickly turn a night, although often uses his ‘condition’ as an advantage during his favourite – Standing, Bending, ‘Sitting Down’ game.   

So it was that I left the club, a little worse for wear, and I profess somewhere between my hailing a minicab, pulling over to be sick, and stumbling in through my front door, that I found I had lost my wallet.  My irritation at this the next morning while nursing a particularly strong hangover was only further exacerbated when, upon leaving my home to make my way into the Institute for the day – I found my bicycle had been taken from my very own front garden.

Now I have talked at length before, within this blog about the criminal mind, so won’t take up time going over it again here – refer instead  to;


Are you back? 

It must be said – it infuriates me to think of some yahoo, galavanting around on my bicycle, tearing up the streets, popping wheelies and generally giving us cyclists a bad name.  Now I will admit it was only last year that I took up cycling for the first time since my childhood – one or two sensitive comments about my weight from some of my students had seen that I do something about it. So at exam time they were failed. But that did little to reduce my waistband. A fellow colleague had been cycling to work for some years and was a great proponent of the practice, in fact so proficient he has become he has long since dispensed with the usual two wheeled form and taking to getting round London on a unicycle. Soon he hopes to be running on no wheels at all.

I was, and have always, and will always be committed for the most part to the motor vehicle. And found myself being driven most places. (I have never ‘officially’ passed the Standard Motor Driving Test – I was failed once, and upon being told by the instructor that I was unable to drive I replied if he was able to split an atom, I think you can see the stalemate we quickly reached).

And so it was last Summer I took to the bicycle for the first time in many years – and found it to be, exhilarating. The wind blowing through my hair, the sun beating down on my face, the children running out of my way. This was as man was meant to get around (and that is an evolutionary fact, human legs are really just a vestigial set of organs that serve little to no purpose), indeed now without my bicycle – the five minute walk from my front door to the institute’s, bears little thinking….


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