Pun like the wind

There’s this image with individual athletes – professionals and amateurs – that they’re all a bit of a serious bunch. And even if they aren’t, the belief is that the kind of singular mentality required to push yourself on your own makes you a bit predictable, and uninspiring, and well, dull.

While Strava has allowed those people who do individual sports to ‘get social’ in a way that proves we’re not just energetic watt-obsessed hermits (well, some of us), the challenge of showing off our creative side has always been trickier. We do try; a while ago a van driver shouted ‘pay your road tax’ at me and I felt compelled to cycle in the shape of what I called him (under my breath). I felt pretty clever at the time, until someone pointed out to me these incredible GPS Doodles – – and I realised I was way out of my league. I’m not sure I’d be able to put that level of effort in, or at least look a lot less demented when repeatedly backing on myself to draw scales, or wrinkles, or hair.

If you didn’t know, I’m a comedian and comedy writer (some of you may have heard of me, most of you will have not) and I cycle to give myself a break from having to think. Regrettably, I took this too far in July of this year when I completely switched off and missed a huge pothole that slammed me shoulder first into the tarmac, exploding my collar bone. Then the dullness really set in; those people who think morning runs and all day bike rides are dull are yet to experience the crushing mind-bleach that is 1.5 hours of daily physio.

So to try and keep the strength training and virtual cycling sessions interesting, I decided from September this year I would update each Strava status with a pun on a song lyric based on what happened or how I was feeling that day. At first this was easy, but then I started running out of ideas, so then it was a challenge, and now it’s like Sudoku on gin.

I’m going to give up on this by the end of the year, but in the meanwhile, here’s 80 of them. Your challenge is to recognise the song. Most will be easy, some might be damn near impossible. You can follow me and guess the rest before I truly give up here – https://www.strava.com/athletes/stephengrant.


This is a copy of a blog post that appeared on Stephen’s Strava feed in December 2017