“Writ­ing was my hobby but we now know that is in fact just an ex­ten­sion of cy­cling. Thanks, guys”

Cycling Weekly - - News - Katie Archibald

A cou­ple months into start­ing this col­umn I sub­mit­ted a piece which the edi­tor re­jected. It was put to me, in a very gen­tle man­ner, that what I wrote had to have at least a fleet­ing ref­er­ence to cy­cling. Which makes sense. To be run in Cy­cling Weekly mag­a­zine.

What was quite sad about the sit­u­a­tion was that this plain truth hadn’t oc­curred to me at all. The pieces I’d writ­ten up un­til that point had passed the cy­cling rel­e­vance test by pure ac­ci­dent, such is cy­cling’s con­sump­tion of my ex­is­tence.

The same em­bar­rass­ment pops up of­ten in in­ter­views, since ‘tell us about your hob­bies out­side of cy­cling’ is a favourite puff ques­tion. Cy­cling is pretty much it, I’m afraid. I could lie and tell them about some­thing I’ve done once on a whim but then mak­ing marsh­mal­lows or tak­ing self­ies or colour­ing in the chips on the fridge with nail var­nish be­comes my ‘thing’, my gim­mick. And I’ve al­ready got blue hair; I can’t han­dle an­other gim­mick. Of course, once upon a time I would have said writ­ing was my hobby but we now know that is in fact just an ex­ten­sion of cy­cling. Thanks, guys.

I started dat­ing some­one who owns a drill this year though and that re­ally has opened up some bril­liant whim-hob­bies. Don’t tell Laura Kenny, my land­lady. She won’t be read­ing this, we all know her hob­bies are dogs and Adi­das prod­ucts, of which CW is nei­ther. I have to stress again though that putting holes in things, in­clud­ing re­ally big holes with the mas­sive drill bit we bought re­cently, is not my thing.

To top it all off I’ve also got a ‘not all fin­gers are thumbs but all thumbs are fin­gers’ sit­u­a­tion with my so­cial cir­cles. Not all cy­clists are my friends (why won’t Chris Hoy ac­cept my Face­book re­quest?) but all my friends are cy­clists. I have one ex­cep­tion — two if you’ll al­low me to put trike rid­ers in a sep­a­rate cat­e­gory — called Fiona. Ter­ri­ble news for me though, she just moved to Lon­don and so is un­doubt­edly on the cusp of tak­ing up cy­cling. Quelle hor­reur.

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