Failing to Prepare … lessons learnt on the road!

Written by Ae7's Gary Parsons
KTM Strada at night in Glasgow

KTM Strada at night in Glasgow

There is one saying that I have followed pretty much my entire life:

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

Or there’s the 6 P’s that an old school coach taught me:

Piss Poor Preparation = Piss Poor Performance

Now I clearly always take these sayings on board and never forget to prepare properly. Ok, maybe on very rare occasions I don’t prepare! Let’s take last Friday for instance. Whilst I was at work during the day in the Ae7 warehouse, I realised I’d forgotten to bring my house keys, wallet and mobile phone with me. These are normally stowed carefully in my daysack when I cycle into work in the morning (preparation). Now, I had obviously just failed in the first 3 parts of the 6 P’s and to make matters worse I knew my girlfriend was out the house and wouldn’t be back till later on that evening.

No biggie! Plan B was put into place. I had eaten well throughout the day, so to kill the time until my girlfriend got home I figured I would simply go out for my training ride earlier than planned.

I set off on a simple 40 mile circuit at a steady pace around Glasgow. I managed to get to around the 30 mile point of my ride when suddenly a feeling of impending doom hit me! I felt & heard the air take a one way trip out of the back tyre.

So there I was on a cold wet Glasgow night with muddy streaks up my lycra. Of course, had I prepared as planned I would have been fine. However, not only did I not have my keys, wallet & mobile phone, I also never had my tyre levers, puncture repair patches, spare tube or pump!!

I therefore had to walk around 8 miles from the south side of the city to the west end where I live looking like a skinny replica of Chris Hoy. Glaswegians are known for humour and the locals who stood outside the bars smoking cigarettes didn’t disappoint! They were wearingt shirts that were 3 sizes too small yet they had the audacity to make endless comments about my love of lycra & apparent disregard for fashion! Now this was a Friday night and as the time passed I began to fear a little for the safety of my KTM Strada, not to mention myself, so I swiftly picked up my walking or pushing pace as I passed the seemingly endless streets of Friday night revellers!

I did learn a lesson in being prepared though and funnily enough the next day my bag was filled with everything I might need from a small kit of patches to my mobile phone. There hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t carried all the little items that would have saved me that night! I also have at least 5 really funny lines of retort for the smokers!!!

Always be prepared!




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