In her column for Cycling Weekly, Katie Archibald discusses the merits of 'gruesome' television and books, and tries to avoid talking about missing her last road race due to sickness

Former swimmer Katie Archibald made a splash in cycling when she won her first team pursuit world title after just three years in the sport. She went on to claim gold with GB in the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games

You see a lot of graphic stuff on TV these days.

What I mean is: I’m 23 years old and as far as I’m aware TV has always illustrated the world’s gruesome happenings but people who wear their glasses at the end of their noses or tuck their shirts into their underwear tell me it wasn’t always this way.

In fact, before we get going, I have this to say: there should be a rule that you’re not allowed to use the phrase “these days” until you’re at least 35 years old.

Upon turning 35 you can celebrate exiting the “18-34 year olds” bracket that YouGov seems determined to treat as one data group and only then 
are you old enough to pretend you’ve known a world before 
this one.

And no one should be allowed to say “kids these 
days are [character descriptor]” ever. You’re either currently a kid yourself and thus have no alternative reference point to “these days” or you’re not a kid so how do you know what 
kids are like, eh? Eh?! Vote Katie Archibald for Queen of Everything 2018.

>>> Katie Archibald column: What happens when the inspector calls and you’re not ready for a sample?

Sorry, where were we? Yes, graphic TV. TV, films, visual media in general; they all so often have graphic content that I’ve learnt to tune it out on demand. Or at least learnt to feel comfortably separate from whatever horrors I watch to avoid too much painful empathy.

The written word, on the other hand, I always feel burrows unavoidably into my imagination. When forced to create imagery with the building blocks of my own mind and memory it’s inevitable that whatever disgusts, delights or terrors are described, really crawl under my skin.

With this in mind, I’m not going to write about how sick I was recently. Sick enough that I missed my last road race of the season in Madrid. I think I ate some funny meat and thus my road season ended with my head in the toilet.

But much like a heavy night out, that doesn’t mean all the fun I’ve had until this point didn’t happen. Still, bring on the track season!