"I'm going to take Victoria Pendleton on!" You beam. Your old step-through, wicker basket heavy bicycle wobbles to a halt next to me. "I only learned to ride this thing two weeks ago!" You emphasise the two weeks the way small children do and my cheeks ache with the empathy of your proud smile. You tell me that your children were the ones who made you learn, about how scared you were, about the kindness of your instructor. Above all you tell me about how it only took you one lesson to be able to ride. "And now I am going to take Victoria Pendleton on!" And with that, you and all your 50 odd years in soft curvy lycra are off again, bouncing onto the grass of the park, one hand flung triumphantly into the air.
It is the end of a long clinical Monday, I am utterly exhausted with my shopping, and I have never met you before. But you – glorious, delicious, right out loud you – have made the whole damn day worthwhile. You are fucking amazing. And yes, yes, yes – you are totally going to take on Victoria Pendleton. With bicycle bells on.