“An authority on what is required for a long and happy marriage” is a sentence nobody would use to describe me.
Yet on Sunday morning a chance encounter saw me have a go.
Hoping to source some walnuts I propped my bike outside the grocer. Bars and saddle, naturally, never frame and wheels (cf. Rule #65).
As I emerged, a middle-aged man was leaning over the handlebars as if in the action of riding. He gave the brakes a squeeze.
“Italian?” he asked.
“I used to have a Claude Butler” he said, as if it was 70 years ago. As if Claude Butlters were made by Stradivari himself.
“What happened to it?”
“I got a car” he said. “Two, actually.”
Keen to start toasting my nuts, I made to be off.
“I thought about getting a bike again” he added. “A couple of weeks ago.”
“I mentioned it to the wife.” His tone seemed to indicate that the reception was not enthusiastic.
Do, the advice goes, or do not. There is no try.* Think about it, or consult your spouse are steps not endorsed by Yoda.
So “Do it!” was of course my shout as I rode off. The imperative was the only form for someone who spanks more on cars in a month than I do on bikes in a year.
Your wife will find herself married to someone who is healthier, happier, and less likely to finger another man’s brakes.
*And if you ask Graeme Obree — someone who knows a thing or two about the act of doing — not only is there no try, there’s no don’t either.