Life’s too short to ride a Pashley

I have a confession to make: I hate my Pashley. Yes, the bike I bought on impulse and which cost me a small fortune.

It looks lovely and the basket on the front is very handy. But I hadn’t realised that it weighs a ton and only has 5 gears. Which is fine, if you’re on the flat but it’s pretty hilly round here. So, most of the time, I hate it. Unless I’m whizzing downhill and then I love it. But it’s a short-lived love.

So today, needing to go and post a letter and all fired-up by the Olympics, I set forth to the shop on my trusty mountain bike. Ah… bliss! No cursing, no pushing, no pounding heart.

I cycled past a group of young boys waiting at a bus-stop and braced myself for some comments.

“And it’s Bradley Wiggins…!” one of them shouted, in the voice of a commentator…”heading for the finishing line!” I raised my arm in victory… “and she’s going at 200 miles an hour!”

Weee heeee! I felt great. Especially as he’d spotted that I was female (no sideburns. At least, not yet).

Anyway, this is all leading to a thought that I had as I zoomed home. Life’s too short to ride a bike you don’t like. My mountain bike is ancient but it’s brilliant and I love riding it. And it’s the same with writing. Don’t force yourself to write what you think you should write – or what other people expect.

Write what you want to write. Write what you love.

Short Story Results

The results are out for the Multi-Story Short Story Competition

I was long-listed but didn’t get any further.

The stories placed first, second and third are on the website here (scroll down).

Hmmm… this probably sounds like sour grapes but I thought they were an odd choice. The one that came second reminded me of a surreal play, like Waiting for Godot, rather than a short story. But there you go. Short story competitions are very subjective. You never quite know what the judge will be looking for. Read them for yourself. You might completely disagree with me.

Competition coming up….

The numbers of my ‘followers’ (I love how biblical that sounds) is creeping up to 200. When that number is reached, I will be celebrating with another writing competition. There will be prizes! And excitement! And stuff like that. So come back soon.

“The most important thing to realise is that everyone is capable of telling a story. It doesn’t matter where we were born or how we grew up.” Maeve Binchy, Irish novelist and story-teller surpremo. RIP

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7 Responses to Life’s too short to ride a Pashley

  1. That’s a shame about your pashley, best to stick to what you know though. As you say, I keep sending out womag stories and get nowhere, yet I do o.k in competitions and with other writing. I’d like to think I’m almost there with the womags, but maybe it’s not worth worrying about. Isn’t it great when young people are nice and normal, there are loads of them around. Good for them. I have a feeling they’ll creep into your next story… Maeve was the best.

  2. You’re right, life is too short to do stuff we don’t want to (unless we absolutely have to)
    Congrats on the long listing.

  3. sp56h says:

    A mini story in there! Lovely images. I agree with you about writing what you like. For me it’s poetry. Although I do sometimes write stories I never feel confident and would have to take some courses or do a lot of exercises and at the moment I don’t have the motivation though I’m an avid reader. I’ve realised that I don’t have the patience for writing a novel. I like quick results (I only ever knitted if it was on large needles so the item would be done quickly!) It took me a while to realise that poetry is what really motivated me and still does.

  4. Keith Havers says:

    “Life’s too short to ride the wrong bike.” As a cyclist myself I think that’s a brilliant motto and it would be a good title for a story.
    I’ve just read the three short stories. I thought the winner was pretty good but second and third were a bit weird weren’t they? I presume you’ll find another home for your entry.

  5. Daniel Undem says:

    Great advice on cycling and life. Thanks.

  6. Julia says:

    I know I’m a bit slow, but I’ve just read the winners. I thought the second one was best, I hated the first, but the third was OK.

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