Famous Last Words: Michael Vaughan

The former England cricket captain is combining watching 
the 2013 Ashes action this summer with cycling to each Test 
match venue for the Chance To Shine and Laureus charities

I’ll be working at the England-Australia games, then getting on my bike and cycling to the next venue. The preparation is not going bad at the moment – I feel pretty good, which is slightly worrying. Leeds to Manchester is about 40 miles but we’re doing 80. We’re going through every village possible. We have a day at the Manchester Velodrome, which will be great, but the Brecon Beacons in Cardiff will be a really tough leg.

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I’m looking forward to riding with Victoria Pendleton – I want to try to beat her over 100 metres. I think I have a chance. I’ll pull her back or go in front and push her off! Since I retired, the one thing I did was cycle to strengthen the legs. My right knee is knackered and cycling hurts the muscles, but the joints never really get too much aggro. It’s very good for my body.

I just try to go from A to B when I cycle. Once you get there you can sit down and have a drink, can’t you? I find it very peaceful. I have a flat in London and if I’m down there I’ll take my bike around Regent’s Park most mornings.

You do get itchy feet when the Aussies are in town. The Ashes is the one series we all wish we could be fit enough and playing well enough to be a part of. But I’ve been that busy I haven’t really missed cricket. I left the game because I’d had enough of it and I’m really pleased with what I’ve done since I’ve retired.

I was pretty laid-back as a skipper. I wanted the players to understand that preparation was everything. I always said make sure nothing surprises you in the game and then you can enjoy playing in front of 30,000 people.

If I didn’t play cricket I’d have been a footballer. I’d have played for Barcelona. Sheffield Wednesday would have been my team but Barcelona would have bought me after a couple of years I think. I’d like to try my hand at golf too.

I did Strictly Come Dancing but I never go dancing, I sit on a stool. Strictly was nerve-racking because I was out of control for the most part of what I was doing. I’d never danced in my life. I toured after Christmas and did an American smooth and a samba about 55 times, so I still remember those routines.

I don’t think I could do Big Brother; that’s not for me. Strictly is my one dip into reality TV. Never say never, but I have no plans to do any more, I’m too busy with my sport.

This article was first published in the June 27 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!