“We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it” Choose the bus.
Choose to sleep. Choose to lie awake. Choose to listen to the wind. Choose to worry whether you can stay upright on two wheels. Choose to do it at 1am; and 2am; and 3am; and 4am. Choose the car.
“Everything in the street today seems soft focus” Choose rain.
“Thir must be less tae life than this” Choose a hailstorm.
“But ah cannae even endorse these sentiments as they are at best peripheral tae the moment.” Choose trying to stay onboard in a force eight.
“Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people whae’s behaviour is outside its mainstream. Choose this. Choose LifeCycleForNeuroblastoma.
Choose the first week in January. Choose the only week in January. Choose 200 miles; then choose to make it 230. Choose ambition. Choose effort. Choose sair legs; no they choose you.
Choose 5am. Choose darkness. Choose the cold. Choose very cold. Choose two layers. Of everything. Choose three of some. Choose a balaclava. Choose a woolly hat. Choose a peaked cap. Choose the lot. Choose to try and put a helmet on top.
Choose picking a longer route. Choose trying to go faster to bag more miles before you get to work. Choose empty main roads. Choose bumpy side roads. Choose to miss potholes. Choose not to fall off whenever you can. Choose to clip in for extra power. Choose to unclip for less of a fall.
Choose to make gestures at motors that nearly clean you out. Choose to rant. Choose to talk to yourself. Constantly. Choose to imagine that you’re only five hundred miles from the finish and that it’s nice and warm. Choose to kid yourself. Choose to ignore that fact that there are still 13,000 miles to go.
Choose a tailwind. Choose a crosswind. Choose a headwind. Don’t choose anything. Wait till the wind chooses you, then deal with it. Choose to go fast cos you feel good. Choose to go slow cos you’re knackered. Choose a big gear. Choose the granny gears. Choose any gear. Choose to turn the pedals as best you can.
Choose lycra: choose to look good. Choose layers: choose to be warm. Choose yellow: choose to be seen. Choose black: choose to be invisible. Choose lights: choose to flash. Choose more than one: choose to be a polis. Choose to be you.
Choose hills. Choose six. Choose a 500ft climb straight out the door. Choose screaming legs before 6am. Choose to do it five days a week. Choose a fast bike. Choose a slow bike. Choose a folding bike. Choose any bike. Choose to just get it done. Choose the miles.
Choose the very first week of the new year to set yer stall out. Choose to bag the first January 200 since records began: and fail. Choose to declare on 177 to live and fight another day. Choose two working legs (just) and a sair arm to pegs that don’t work at all. Choose to feel that you let yersel’ down by giving in to the weather. Choose to feel like the establishment cos you never took on that extra challenge. Choose to wonder for evermore whether you would have stayed on or fallen off.
Choose to reflect on two more days then six weeks off as a result of the surgeon’s knife. Choose to worry about ever getting back to full fitness. Choose to think “will I ever be as good as before: will I ever have the same desire”? Choose to think that it’s all gonna go downhill from here. Choose to banish such thoughts.
Choose to focus on two more summers and only one winter. Choose to think of only ever having to ride through November one more time. And December too. Choose to take one day at a time and not get too far ahead of yersel’. Choose to ignore how much hard work remains to be done. Choose tomorrow. Choose to do it all again. And the next day.
Choose Vanessa. Choose Oscar. Choose Mackenzie. Choose Eileidh. Choose to think about why you started this and why you need to keep going. Choose to think about the kids who made it the first time around. Choose to think especially about the ones who didn’t. Choose to think about those kids when the going gets tough. Choose motivation. Choose justification. Choose dedication. Ignore frustration.
Choose to think “who actually cares” then banish the thought. Think Flag. Think Celtic Park. Think awareness. Think Vanessa. Think mega awareness. Choose awareness. Choose fundraising and don’t get upset when the money doesn’t roll in. Choose Oz. Think Angela. Think Tara. Think Anna. Think Jimmy. Think JJ. Think Adelaide. Think awareness.
Choose awareness. Choose to spread the message. Choose not to be ignored.
Choose to surround yersel’ with good people. Choose to ignore those who cannot see the light. Choose to be brave. Choose not to become a slave. Choose to wave: and stay off the pave.
Choose fuel. Choose cake. Choose fruit cake. Choose sponge cake. Choose any cake. Burn cake. Choose carbs. Choose protein. Choose a balance. Choose to turn yer petrol into diesel. Choose yer fuel tank and make it a big one. Choose yer attitude and make it a good one.