25 July 2011 § 8 Comments

Breaking away

This sunny Sunday lane
Is our own private
Tour parcours
Complete with mimicked Phil-and-Paul
To lend us greater speed:

“And now
The leader
In the Best Young Rider competition
Makes the move
On the inside –

The gap’s opening up –

And the champion
Must respond to this:

He’s digging deep

Let’s not forget
He’s the oldest man
In the race,
So you’ve got to ask;
Has he got the legs
To counter the attack
And close it down
Or are we about to see
A new era ushered in?”

Of course
If I chose
I could go
Straight over the top of her;

But, smiling, I permit
Her cheeky breakaway to succeed
And sit on her wheel;
Training for the big attacks
And moves I cannot answer
In the stages still to come,
Knowing that one day I’ll have to watch her
Head up the road alone.

Written after yesterday’s ride with my 10-year-old daughter, who seems to have inherited my competitive streak on the bike…my fault for encouraging her to watch Le Tour, I guess. For those who haven’t been glued to ITV4 or SKY for the past three weeks, ‘Phil-and-Paul’ are the dynamic commentary duo of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, who have been the ‘voices’ of cycling to British fans for over 30 years.

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§ 8 Responses to Breakaway

  • slpmartin says:

    There are of course worst things that you could have past on to her as a family trait. 🙂 Quite a delightful poem.

  • Ina says:

    Okay, did you really let her win or is she actually faster? 🙂
    Lovely family story.

    • gonecycling says:

      As a responsible, caring and supportive father, I naturally let her win. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 🙂 Thanks for your comment, as always.

  • tikarmavodicka says:

    Sounds like there a champion in the making. 🙂 This was very lovely and playful poem. 🙂 Enjoyed the read.

  • belfastdavid says:

    Your love for your daughter shines through every word of this poem Nick.

    I taught my elder son to play chess. By the age of seven or eight he could beat me every time!!!

    I have come away from this with a smile on my face


    • gonecycling says:

      Thank you David – I’m at the stage now where her every step forward is bittersweet: the thrill of watching her grow up is balanced by the sadness of knowing her days as a little girl are fast running out. So in future, being slower than her will be a pleasure if it means she’s still happy to come cycling with me!

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