Katie Archibald column: Call me lucky

'Crashing wasn’t very lucky but it’s only one side of my body that’s scabby. That’s pretty lucky, right?'

Katie Archibald

I think I might be statistically luckier than the average person. When I first had that thought, I decided it didn’t make mathematical sense. Luck is arbitrary by definition and so, like tossing a coin enough times should eventually result in an even number of heads and tails, I thought luck would work in such a way that life evens out. But then I thought, luck is arbitrary by definition and so...why wouldn’t it arbitrarily favour me?

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And I don’t mean I’m privileged. I am privileged, but I’m also separately lucky. I’m not making a show of being grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given or the circumstances I’ve been born into. Again: I am grateful, but separate to all the privilege and opportunity (saving my Oscars ‘thank you mum and dad’ speech for another column), I’m lucky.

Today I fell asleep on a train to Edinburgh. A deep, exhausted, paralysing sleep. It took someone shaking me to wake me up, which they did when the train had terminated. Problem was

I didn’t want to go to Edinburgh (the final stop), I wanted to get off at Linlithgow. So I panicked. Well, the train had only gone and had to stop and move to a rail replacement bus service in Linlithgow and everyone was getting off exactly where I needed waking up. How brilliant is my life?!

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That might not be the best example but it’s the most recent in a series of lucky events. Listing them would make a boring story, but it’s been happening so often that I’m becoming quite laid-back in how I make plans because I assume I’ll luck out. Combining this with a belief in ‘what’s for you won’t go by you’ makes it very easy to sleep at night.

At least it would if I wasn’t covered in scabs and sticking to the sheets still from my crash in Italy last week. Crashing wasn’t very lucky, I admit, but it’s only one side of my body that’s scabby. That’s pretty lucky, right? And since crashing I’ve been away in hotels most nights so it’s other people’s sheets I’ve been making look like a troll’s handkerchief instead of my own… is that luck? Yep, I’ve still got it.

Read Katie Archibald's regular columns about the trials and tribulations of being a professional cyclist in Cycling Weekly, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, priced £3.25.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.