02 January, 2012

That awkward moment when…

You’re having a drink whilst training on an innocuous, seemingly smooth piece of road when you hit tarmac turbulence, in the form of huge submerged craters. Obviously there happens to be a car overtaking at the exact same moment so the only option is to maintain course, cling on and ride it out - rodeo style. Thank goodness for my immense wrist strength (developed through youthful dedication to ‘rackets sports’) otherwise I would have been showing my over-the-handlebars bicycle dismount skills on very short notice to an audience of a couple of Shetland ponies in the adjacent field and a very confused Volvo driver.

You realise you’re the same dress size as your girlfriend. This may take more explaining than the length of this post will allow, but I’ll do my best. In the true spirit of Halloween (according to my last three consecutive years’ efforts) I ventured out before the big day to pick up a lovely floral print, full length number. This led to the local Phyllis Tuckwell charity shop (very worthwhile charity by the way) and the unwelcome knowledge that my ‘slight physique’ (shop assistant’s kind words) allows me to fit into an 8-10 size dress. There’s that incentive I need to go to the gym!

When you see a construction worker sitting in his dumper truck, staring at some girls and honking his horn and you think you’ll be funny and give him a cheeky wink and a wave to make him feel like a leering prat. Then he blows a kiss back. Either this guy’s got a wicked sense of humour or my trousers are getting a little on the tight side.

You’re doing a turbo session in the kitchen and the neighbour, putting his rubbish out for the next day, makes prolonged, awkward eye contact. Neither party knows who’s more wrong here: “Well I admit I was looking in his kitchen window, but was curious since all I hear day in day out is panting and groaning through the wall!”

People find out you’re a cyclist and their first question is “So when are you going to do the Olympics?” You’re forced to explain that despite popular belief the key requirements for getting into the upper echelons of the cycling world are a little more than:
1)      Own bicycle and possess ability to propel self forwards.
2)      Be comfortable wearing Lycra on television.
Finally you regain your composure with internal reassurances of; “It’s fine, they mean well, this is their version of encouragement”. Unfortunately they then drop the bomb by saying “Well it’s good that you’re doing something you love. I wish I could get paid to ride a bike!” as if the training required consists of sauntering to the shops en-velo for some nutritional supplies, before returning home to spend the rest of the day stretching out one’s tight muscles and perusing glossy magazines in search of men in tight, multicoloured shorts. Only part of that description is true! (I prefer driving to the shops because they’re a little too far and I don’t like cycling with a heavy rucksack).

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