Dear Cycling,

For three years I’ve been obsessed with you.
You’ve been patient when I struggled to be.
You've been my consistent when things around me were changing.
Without making your head too big, you’ve changed my life. However, between planning the next ride and the continual washing of lycra, I’ve never stopped to say thank you. And unlike the constant coffee I drink, gratitude is free and there are km’s of appreciation overdue. 

You’ve been a silencer. Before I started this love affair, there wasn’t much that could shut my thoughts up. You came along and took control of my mind, stripping it back to a simplicity only pedalling can provide.  

You’ve built me a community. A group of people now exist that have my back, on and off the bike. A team that would never have formed without you but now win every weekend. #SquadGoals 

You’ve given me the permission to question what’s normal, and then realise nothing is. Like the parts of the day most people don’t know exist - when they're sleeping, we're in the saddle. 

I’ve become more humbled since meeting you. Group riding is the ultimate leveller, and thanks to conversations I've had that are often otherwise held back, I’m now acutely aware that no worry is unique to me. Everyone is fighting their own battle.

Some days can be shit. But you can prioritise my life like the ultimate project manager - you pedal away the pointless and leave the vital few. 

We’re emotional beings by nature but thanks to the roads, I’ve discovered a new spectrum. A range of emotions I didn’t know existed, but now I need.

I can’t forget to say thanks for the new section in my wardrobe, the superhero outfits, that provide a new persona once I’m zipped in. Lycra on, game on.

You, cycling, have reduced the space between me and the rest of the world. I’ve witnessed landscapes I didn't know existed and coffee shops that would have only lived on review sites.

Without escapism, we can become overwhelmed. With escapism, we can become unproductive. You break those rules. With every pedal, I may travel further but I feel clearer. 

I’m a stronger person because of you cycling. The strength you’ve given my legs is only second to the power you’ve given my mind. In life, we often stop at the first sight of fear, but gradient after gradient I’ve been reminded of the inner strength we have to approach challenges head on. Fight or flight? You've taught me to enter the boxing ring. Probably to a Kanye West soundtrack. 

You’ve allowed me to indulge in my love for routine and brunch.

I’ve been able to say ‘I’m a cyclist’ which gives me a feeling of being part of something bigger than myself.

I’m grateful for that time you worked me so hard I was drunk off one Gin & Tonic, whilst travelling back from a Brighton ride.

You’ve given me permission to enter roads that only the chosen few are allowed. Bikes and buses.

You’re an honest sport, that reveals but never judges. Even when you’re causing pain, I trust you’re doing it for the right reasons. You may be misunderstood by some, but those that spend time with you always return for more. Sometimes I curse at you and there are days when in all honesty I largely dislike you. As the definition of ‘obsession’ goes, you continually intrude on my mind. 

Thanks for making my life miles better, for giving me a reason to better myself, and for never giving up on me (even when my legs did). 

Forever obsessed,

KPP