Due to Covid, the Time Trialling for Cyclists, had to be suspended, for a few more weeks, but hopefully, like many of us, you are still enjoying the riding of a bike in the local villages.  I thought to report a piece, recently put together by an enthusiast, Mike Cotgreave, which may be of interest to cycle riders, as follows:

He quotes:

Perhaps the most important part of a bike ride is…….Air.

“Air is like freedom- when you have it – you don’t notice it.” (Boris Yeltsin)

Air and the innertube are a ring of rubber. A soft pliable doughnut -when full of air, protected by a tyre.

A small volume of air inflated to a high pressure. And on that air we ride. As the innertube inflates, the tube gets thinner. It is porous and like that of a party balloon, it loses air. Small molecules permeate the rubber, and so we need to replace them.

Replace the tube with CO2 and as the molecules are now smaller, it may leak even more air. Too much air, and you may slow down, as you bounce and vibrate over the rough surface. Too little air, and you may also slow down too.

But when the air has gone, and the innertube is flat, we cyclists despair, yet ,rather than a curse, we should regard a puncture as part of the ride, a pause, and a chance to review our progress on the journey.

The ride, the repair, the turning wheel, all give us time to reflect – we have freedom to discover. To travel, and independently experience the elements. Riding through our own reality.

The cyclists breathe air in time with cadence, speed, relative to the rotation of the wheel. A hypnotic tempo, breath uniting the mind, stimulating the body, and thus the brain.

Like people, no two rides are the same. There is also a relationship to the ever changing scene. Cycling allows the understanding of nature. Regardless of age, the person on the wheels, can be proud of their achievements, a ride of course completed – perhaps the satisfaction of a hill climbed, transported by keen effort. The feeling of power as those cranks are turned.

Alone, or in communion with a the group, with whom they ride –  please, give thanks to the innertube and the air it contains- no matter how expensive the bike – air comes free!!

Ride out, put air into your innertubes,your lungs, and then let air blow in your face!



Inspired by “Mind is the Ride”…Jet McDonald. Published by Unbound.


Mike Cotgreave

Manchester and District Cycling Time Trials

From the book titled ‘Memories of Bates Bikes and Baking’ by Goostrey resident Catherine Kemery



Sarah McNaught

Managing Director



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  1. Reply

    Thanks Mike for such an interesting viewpoint and unique perspective on the experiences of a cyclist.

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