Over the last 8 weeks I have managed to get out on my bike about twice. For various reasons, my routine has been very disrupted, so in total I have not actually ridden more than about 15 miles.
On Saturday, Dave rang and asked if I would be out on Sunday. Yes says I, and am rewarded with the news of a trip to Leith Hill. My heart jumped. I like Leith Hill, and it promised to be a technical ride, rather than a long ride.
Sunday morning rolls around. I arrive at the appointed time and load my bike into Jem’s van. I should have twigged at the time that everything was not going to be as simple as I first thought. Jem’s friend Mark would be joining us. Given I knew what quality of bike Mark owns alarm bells began to ring. Good bike, Mark is a fit bunny.
When we arrived at Mark’s I learn that his 15 year old son Liam will be joining us, as will his mate Callum. The last straw is when I find out that we will not be going straight to Leith Hill, but to Wotton, then riding over to Leith Hill, and then on the Holmbury Hill.
To cut a long story short I ended up doing about 18 miles. In the latter stages my legs gave up, and while I was desperately trying to catch my breath, some bastard must have nipped in and replaced them with two sticks of limp celery. There is nothing so disheartening as to watch two teenagers ride up steep slopes at high speed, and not even look out of breath, while I was trying to conserve my last ounce of lung power, so I could ring the nurse to set up the iron lung for me.
Added to these delights I also ended up being out of the house for five hours. Emily, my wife, was not impressed, and the atmosphere for the rest of the day was none too cheery!
Monday brought new joys. I have aches in places I didn’t actually know existed. My knees now squeak when I walk, and my backside aches in a way that could only be duplicated by spending 6 weeks in a Turkish prison with Hassan the Buggerer.
Next time I need to remember to ask the right questions before we set off, rather than let the “surprise” unfurl as the day goes by.
The moral could therefore be:- “Live and learn”, or perhaps “Read it and weep” or maybe “use more Deep Heat, then a quick rub down please Helga.”