I write this sitting at the kitchen table of my childhood home in Milngavie, while my mother cuts my hair. I have agreed reluctantly. The bottom of my hair is dyed pink and so as she snips — although she claims to be cutting out the dead ends — she’s also cutting out the fun bit.
I wasn’t planning on being in Milngavie today. It’s not the kind of place you end up in by accident, but here I am. Fate brought me. I missed my final connecting flight to Manchester on the way back from Australia after a delay taking off (something to do with the plane’s left flange or lack thereof) and discovered it was cheaper and four hours faster to just go to Glasgow instead. So I did.
It’s possible my decision was influenced by a giddy sense of morale after coming back from a very good week in Oz. I was racing Six Day Brisbane, and I know that it should always feel like a treat and a joy to be able to race my bike all over the world, but it’s felt that way even more so this last week. I’m just happy.
So I thought, what will make me even happier? Flying somewhere where I’ll be picked up from the airport and have my dinner cooked for me.
Luckily my mother had plans to drive down south this week anyway, to watch my brother, John, race the Buxton Mountain Time Trial on Good Friday. I told him it was my favourite time trial and he should definitely enter because I’d be there racing too. Then I got caught up in my Australia plans and forgot to enter myself. I was too embarrassed to tell John I’d been so stupid so I’ve said I’m not riding because of jet-lag. Truth is, as I feel I’ve made clear, I feel fantastic. So that’s a shame.
But there will be other time trials. And hopefully other fun track races. The thrills of six-day racing won’t return until next winter, but the summer holds a few opportunities to race the outdoor tracks in Italy and the Czech Republic. If I can stay this happy for even half of it, it’s going to be a cracking summer.