Cycling , as a sport is often referred to as being addictive , or as one former Ras stage winner put it recently whilst under the influence of Arthur’s best ‘ you’ll never love your wife as much as you love cycling ! ‘ . This statement was replied to with a chorus of nodding heads , nodding that is after all had checked left and right to see if any wives were within earshot .
Cycling has a mass appeal that many other sports lack . You can head out on your bike alone and your training session begins and ends at your front door , no car journey required . When the fresh air fills your lungs on a crisp spring morning as you look in over a ditch at a few horses grazing in front of an old ruined castle it feels good to be alive . Then when you get fit and train regularly the endorphins or ‘ Happy chappies ‘ as Bill Cullen calls them begin to appear when you put yourself under pressure and you get a natural high .
This along with most peoples natural competitive instinct often leads to a temptation to enter a race . Maybe a league race or possibly a C race some Sunday . However there’s always a tinge of doubt , just how good do you need to be to ride a race ? Well the answer is actually pretty simple .
Cycling is not like some sports where a talented player can drink and smoke and still get away with it . There are no shortcuts in cycling . But conversely there are very few limits to cycling . Natural talent can be compensated for . The main thing with cycling is that those without any natural talent just have to train harder than those who have it !
And that is it in a nutshell . So , how much talent do you need ? – the answer is none whatsoever , but you do have to train harder and to want it more than the next guy .