Aesop’s Cycling Fables

Around 600 years before Jesus was born, a Greek storyteller was given the credit for fables, stories and jokes – mostly in the oral tradition. I loved my big book of Aesop’s fables as a child and was always struck by the one in which the sun and the wind had an argument about how to remove a man’s cloak. I thought I would reword it for 21st century cycling.

The rain and the sun were arguing about which had the greater influence, and they agreed to a competition to find out. Which ever of them could stop a cyclist from having fun, they would be most influential.

The rain began, and drenched the cyclist with all its might. It poured down, raining cats and dogs, blasting, cold and fierce as a arctic storm storm; but the wetter it became, the closer the cyclist wrapped their Carradice rain cape around themselves. The waters rose, but the cyclist carried on, peddling through floods deeper than the bottom bracket.

Then the Sun broke out with warmth and light, dispersing the rain and the cold; the cyclist felt warmth in their bones again, and removed arm warmers, leg warmers, cap, and cape. The cyclist wore the lightest summer lycra possible, and as the Sun shone brighter and brighter, eventually the cyclist sat down, overcome with the heat, cast their bike on the ground, and ate an ice-cream.

So the Sun was declared the greatest influence; and the fable suggests that cold wet bluster convinces no one of anything, but by warmth, a significant change can be made.

Aesop’s famous fable about cycling, circa 600BC