Leisure Doping

All of you amateurs talking about suffering on your bike are idiots, who in their right mind wants to suffer anything, it’s as though to some people cycling is some sort of self punishment, you might as well take yourself into the stable with some rose thorns and give yourself a jolly hard flagellating.

I love riding my bike, I hate cycling, to me there’s a stark difference. When I was younger I used to love cycling, 12 years old, long summer days with £2 in my pocket and three 10ps just incase I needed to use a phone box to call for mum to come and play broom waggon. If dad picked up the phone I knew I wouldn’t be getting a lift back “ you’re old enough to go out, your big enough to come back”, the other side being that if mum came and swept me up I’d have to sit in the Nissan Bluebird and take the lecture on the way home.

Cycling through art school was a relief and it kept me from getting wasted every weekend, everything was so easy, I could ride for hours and not suffer at all and I’m not talking London flat roads, the North East isn’t that flat and back then coffee wasn’t a thing, if you walked into a café and ordered coffee it came in layby Styrofoam cup and was made from a bulk tin of Nescafe and the nearest you could get to a chunk of cake was a sausage sandwich.

Almost thirty years later with a body covered in scars and more broken bones than not I hurt, just throwing my leg over the frame hurts my hips, and lower back, my wrists hurt after a while and especially so in the cold, my shattered knee cap feels like it seizes up in the rain and the most recent injury in my spine means I can’t feel my feet after 90 minutes, and then there’s how the cold pains my head after they went in chasing after Bertie Blood Clot; I suffer without even going up Ventoux.

Suffering sucks and if you’re not subject to testing why wouldn’t you take all the performance enhancing drugs that you can get your hands on? Yeah I know they aren’t cheap but if you could afford it would you do it?

I would.

I’d love to have a spare few grand to throw at it just to see what it’s like, seriously, when I go on holiday I want to enjoy it and if that holiday involves riding why on earth would I want to spend two weeks eating my stem?

Vanity doping is a thing, you have kids in gyms all over the country juicing it to be buff for their two weeks in Ibiza guzzling booze and double dropping till sunrise on the terrace, vanity doping is as common as the pre-holiday sunbed.

Why shouldn’t we amateurs be leisure doping?

Is it even doping if you’re not competing? who’s it harming?

I suppose it depends on your view of drugs, personally I’ve been on one drug or another since I was 11 sniffing glue in the park, then it was acid, pills; anything really and I’ve had to deal with and get over addiction issues, heroin, while great at killing emotional pain is just nasty to get off and stay off but I managed and it was a great lesson in my limits.

Leisure doping would mean you’re cheating yourself?

Seriously, I’m hard, I know how to suck it up, it’s one of the lessons I learned in the army reserves, how to keep going when you’re hurting and the voice in your head is telling you that you’d rather be watching telly with a brew instead of being piss wet through in the middle of nowhere freezing your tits off on stag laying in a muddy fucking puddle for four hours trying not to sleep.

If a box of PEDs turned up with an instruction sheet I would be quite excited by it, why make things harder than they need to be and I’m sort of at the point of thinking that I’m so broken what could a kick start hurt, it’s not like you take a shot and you’re all of a sudden amazing, you still have to work, you still have to train and you still have to ride, I would just get better gains.

If I had the money I so would but if I can’t afford a new frame set I certainly can’t afford a chemical shopping list.


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