A few weeks ago I mentioned I’d bitten the bullet and invested in a road bike, using the government’s Cycle To Work scheme.
To get myself acquainted with the bike ahead of actually cycling 14 miles to work – and to try to get over my terror of cycling around Portsmouth – I took it out a few evenings ago and just went for a random ride around the city.
We’re led to believe the America’s Cup World Series will be a globally significant event, the likes of which Portsmouth has never seen
Not only did I not get knocked off by any of our multitude of white van men, I also managed not to fall off the contraption at red traffic lights or junctions.
It was a lovely evening for a cycle, but I was never more grateful for padded shorts while bumping over the cobbles of Old Portsmouth to take a look across the Camber at the newly-branded Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
It was hard to believe, with the sounds of dozens of fish dinners being eaten at the Still and West and Spice Island Inn, that the world’s racing yacht community would be gazing down on where I was standing.
We’re led to believe the America’s Cup World Series will be a globally significant event, the likes of which Portsmouth has never seen.
Eurofighters will zoom overhead, the Red Arrows will dazzle us with displays, marching bands and the proms will give it all a bit of pomp and ceremony, pop stars will perform, events will take place on the common and in the Historic Dockyard and, of course, there will be some yacht racing.
Not only that, of course, but our future king and queen will come down to enjoy the show (though I think they’re going to miss Spandau Ballet).
Continuing on my journey, I cycled past what will become the race village on Southsea Common, already undergoing its transformation for the benefit of the TV cameras.
Things are certainly a-changing in Portsmouth and Southsea, that much is for sure.
It will be interesting to see what the America’s Cup legacy will be for this island city and the surrounding area.
After it’s all over, and once I can sit on a saddle without wincing, I might just take another cycling tour to find out for myself.