It’s time I got back in the saddle and followed Bob

No crib for a... sausage roll

ZELLA COMPTON: A 21st century curse – how does a family manage the TV recorder?

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I ’m so predictable. I watch a sport on the TV and then have to try it for myself, only to be frustrated by my total lack of talent.

Football, tennis, running and now cycling. The amount of equipment gathering dust would fill another house.

This year, the Tour de France returned to the UK for the first time proper since 1994, although a section in 2007 did leave London for Canterbury.

Do you remember July 7, 1994? That was the day Le Tour came to Portsmouth.

I caught an early ferry over from the Isle of Wight to watch the race in Farlington.

It took a while to get there and I stood in the crowd for ages. It reminded me of waiting for a royal visit.

Finally there was a buzz of excitement and I shuffled to the edge of the road in the crowd like a cold penguin.

Then it was over. In a split second the peloton sped past and that was it. Hours of travelling for a glimpse of Chris Boardman.

In 2014 I now own one of his race bikes. She is a black beauty. I can lift her with one finger and her tyres are so thin, I’d dare not cycle down the wooden promenade of Ryde Pier for fear of becoming wedged.

Clearly cycling, like cricket, is better watched on the telly.

But the scenes in Yorkshire and London have inspired me to get back on my bike.

She has lain idle for three years. My confidence was smashed by two falls which would have impressed Mark Cavendish. Sleeping and road rash do not go together.

I’ve removed the shed mould from my gloves and helmet and polished up the shades.

Tyres are pumped up to rock hard and I’m now ready to grace the roads of Gosport again.

Le Tour is not the only thing to inspire me back into the saddle.

My friend Bob, now skinnier than ever, puts his physique down to cycling to work every day – from Southsea to Southampton. And yes, he is mad.

But if he can do that, surely I can manage the 10 miles from Gosport to Segensworth?

Boy, peer pressure still exists even at my age.