And it was just like riding a bike
Last week, after about twenty-eight years or so, I got on a bike.
My legs felt awfully short (nothing new) and the saddle felt awfully high. Back in the day, there were no such things as helmets for use in this context, except in those crazy Australian soaps with super health-conscious teenagers, but I had one for this outing, even if it was a bit wee.
A scrunch of gravel, a wobble of wheel and off we went.
Reassuringly, I could pedal the thing. My thigh muscles didn’t immediately seize up on the grounds that they are 39 and a half, so I was quite pleased. So off up a short country track, whizzing along trying to figure out the gear thing – another new-fangled addition to the 1980s experience – which I am sure is “a good thing”.
I lasted about twenty minutes before my carpal tunnel syndrome kicked in and my hands went numb to halfway up my wrists, so then I figured I would freewheel my way back to base to congratulate myself on my sporting prowess.
Two days later, my thighs put in their formal objection – but hey, who needs to come down the stairs anyway…?
Since then, I have been uncharacteristically watching sport on the TV – and have enjoyed the cycling road races in particular. Far too exciting – too aerobic to watch safely!
They belt along at some pace – and it is a very curious mix of team work and egoism – a fine balance. It is easier when they cycle together in a big group – but to win, you have to break away – but then it is harder to cycle, so you are more likely to be caught by the big group. All the while there’s the possibility of a crash – with the tidy peleton becoming a mass of limbs and spokes, blood and elbows.
But the cyclists that broke away in both road races managed to hold their ground and not skite off into the crowd, despite the terrible rain in the women’s race and those daft folk standing in the road holding flags right in the way. Numpties.
So. I don’t know whether I should get a bike or not. I don’t think my hands are up to it – although there are a lifetime’s worth of gadgets to work through to help with the numb arm thing before I’d have to resort to the surgery that I don’t think would be worth it, just so that I could go whizz between rain.