Bike friends

Friendships are unique. You have the one you cry with. The one you laugh with. The one you drink with. The one you often end up in trouble with. Then, there’s the one you cycle with. These friendships are built on a base of long, sustained hours together, emotional journeys both physically and emotionally, and a constant sharing of pain and food (two things that we often keep to ourselves). These friends see you at your worst and at your best, and often the distance between the two is only one hill apart.

We don’t ask ‘does my bum looks big in this?’. We just take a photo and show that, 99% of the time, it does. #foreverbuttphotos

We know each others coffee and breakfast preferences and can reel them out with military precision.

We often spend all day together. Waking up ridiculous early to meet, rather than stumbling in stupidly late (sometimes both).

We rarely see each other with our hair down and make up on. When we do, we don’t recognise each other. 

The constant new roads, landscapes and coffee shops often create stories we annoyingly relay in front of people who weren't there. 

We get to know each other quicker than usual because as soon as you start pedalling, there’s no filter to what stories you tell.

We show our loyalties by taking a turn on the front, strategically slowing down the pace or using bad chat as distraction. True ‘cycle friends’ know there’s a sensitive time and place for each. 

We're at our most creative when deciding the name for our Strava upload. 

We believe that seeing each other at 6am during the week is absolutely normal. 

We pee in a bush. And not because we’re drunk in the middle of a festival field. We’re sober, on the side of a main road. 

We talk about things like chamois cream... And saddle sore. 

We suddenly think wearing matching clothes is a team necessity not a fashion tragedy. 

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To the girls who are not just my ‘cycling friends’, but are now some of my best friends: thanks for the plans, the purpose and the endless photographs that are forever unflattering. Together we’ve dealt with life problems, punctures and my pathetic sulks when we end up off-road. Whether it’s the up and down of a lane or of life, I’m glad I’m wearing your often strange but forever hilarious friendship ring for the ride. 

Kitty Pemberton-Platt