My friend Deidre who’s just been staying has brought me up to date on all the happenings with my old cycling buddies from my time in the UK. #1 inspiration had to be Nicky Crowther who got me started with mountain bike racing. She’s written 3 books on cycling in Britain and had them published by Lonely Planet. When I knew her she was working for a MTB magazine so she was well qualified to take on that type of project.
The first time I met Nicky we were going out on a ride with the Vixens and I was feeling nervous and excited with my new Marin after I’d destroyed the big clunker I’d bought at the Brick Lane market. I was meant to get round to her place and we’d travel out to the ride in her van with some other girls. On the way I had a puncture but didn’t know how to fix that so walked the remaining distance pushing my bike. A young guy walked with me chatting away amiably. I was a bit bemused, he wasn’t obviously hitting on me and he hung around as Nicky talked me through fixing my puncture. We piled all the bikes in the van and took off waving out the window to my escort. Nicky thought it was sweet that he’d come to see me off and we all had hysterics when I explained I’d never met him before and didn’t even know his name!