Shall I pedal thee on a summer's ride?

Serenading the cycle...
Sam Jones's picture

Shall I pedal thee on a summer's ride?

It's the anniversary of William Shakespeare's birthday on 23 April, and in honour of the day and the bard, one member of Cycling UK staff has borrowed liberally in his love sonnet to cycling...
About 20 years ago, I remember first encountering Sonnet 18. My English teacher Mr Hargreaves set my class the task of learning the poem verbatim - strange spelling, punctuation and all!
 
It's stuck with me ever since, from initial Romantic attempts to woo as an unsuccessful teenage Romeo to actually being probably the only bit of our greatest poet I can recall as an adult.
 
Shakespeare himself was not adverse to borrowing from others in his creations, so in the 450th anniversary of his birth, hopefully he won't turn too much in his Westminster Abbey based grave, at my celebration of both bard and bike... 
 
Shall I pedal thee on a summer’s ride?
Compared to Winter t’would be more temperate.
Rough roads can shake the wing'd wheels untried,
And summer’s lease sees panniers grow in weight. 
Sometime the crest of British hill declines,
And often’s the time we hit headwind;
And our fare from fare sometime refines,
By chance, or the route’s changing course, untrimmed;
But our trails and trials shall not fade,
Nor lose recollection of that time we grow’st,
Nor shall we brag (too much) of adventures made,
When pub time calls on tales of rides and boasts!
     So long as we can breathe, or rights of way can be,
     So long ride we, and this gives life to me.

With thanks (and apologies) to William Shakespeare

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