Tuesday, 8 May 2012

On your bike...

Yesterday I went out on a bike. A push-bike, with handlebars and pedals and brakes and stuff. The "stuff" being mainly a saddle made from the hardest material known to man, a set of the stiffest gears in all of bikedom, and the noisiest squealiest brakes ever. (The spell-check would like me to change that from squealiest to squeakiest, but believe me, those brakes did not squeak, and nor did I.) I was out there for a half an hour. Give or take five minutes.

Now a half hour bike ride may not seem much to most of you. Seeing it written down in black and white it doesn't seem like much to me. But actually it was no mean achievement. So maybe a bit of context is needed? 

Firstly, the last time my tush touched a saddle was around about 12 years ago. I had enrolled on a course at the local college and needed some form of transportation to get to it. It was a walk-able distance, and fine for getting there at six, but not quite so good for walking home, alone in the dark, at nine. Hence the bike. I rode there and back once. On my second journey the brakes jammed half way there. I pushed the bike the rest of the way there, and at nine o'clock I pushed it all the way home. Very good exercise and an understanding of why they are called push-bikes. I was fitter back then; I didn't drive and had a seven year old and a two year old to keep me on my toes. A year later I passed my driving test. No further need for the bike. Also no further need to run for buses (carrying to the aforementioned two year old), or to push a buggy up and down the many banks that have to be negotiated to get anywhere from our house. Prior to passing my driving test these were my two main forms of exercise. I don't do sport. Now I don't do running for buses either.

Secondly, I am married to a man who does do sport. He plays hockey - at almost fifty, he is still playing for Sunderland Firsts. He plays squash - guys from the hockey club were queueing up this year to try to beat him. In the summer he plays tennis, and he runs, and he plays summer hockey (not quite as physically demanding as league hockey). This year he is cycling the C2C with the hockey guys to raise funds for the club. This was my cycling partner yesterday. He took me out on a "short, easy little ride". We completed less than half of it. I think he does at least now understand that when I say I am unfit, I mean I am unfit. Completely and utterly. No joke. He also now understands that my idea of short and easy is very different to his. I have always known this, but have struggled to get him to grasp the concept. Obviously all that was needed was a physical demonstration. 

Lessons learned. Roll on the next one!  


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