Dr Nick Owen MBE PLUS

Working in and on the Business of Cultural Education

The Story of the 2.6 Campaign: getting back on a bike

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I acquired my bright white Tiger Hazard-mobile at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, unaware at the time that the 2.6 Challenge beckoned.  Whilst the bike started the challenge without a whimper, by day 6 the effects were beginning to tell on the handlebars which had developed a mind of their own. The brakes shockingly disappeared on the descent from the Sneinton Windmill down to the Hermitage too.

So I rapidly decided that I should invest in several small pieces of cycling technologies (spanners, puncture repair, first aid) as well as a pair of reinforced, padded underwear to protect myself in times of trouble.  Unfortunately, they hadn’t arrived by the time day 1 of the 2.6 Challenge dawned.

Whilst I soon learned to avoid the hills by tracking the river and the canals, one day I decided to track the tram rather than the river in the mistaken belief that 1) tram routes had nothing to do with the river and 2) that trams don’t ‘do’ uphill.

Mistaken belief number 1 was soon jettisoned when you realise that tram and river are so closely intertwined that before you know it, you’re riverside again, encountering Nature Reserves and Trent tributaries you weren’t aware of before. Mistaken Belief Number 2 was jettisoned when I attempted the route from the City Centre to the Arboretum which, if you don’t know it, is approached by one sly incline after another.

On day 21, Janice accompanied me to Attenborough Nature Reserve. The traffic on the cycle lanes had noticeably increased at this point and I was reminded of the TomTom advert of a few years ago which said, ‘You’re not stuck in traffic: you are traffic’.

The reinforced, padded underwear purchased online before the campaign needless to say still hadn’t arrived. Saddle sore doesn’t even begin to describe it.

You can see an update of the campaign -and still donate if you wish – here.

Author: drnicko

Cultural Architect

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