Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Idiots in Golfs and kamikaze bus drivers

Golf salesmen must target morons.

They're in the top three car models for nearly killing me. Last night some tw*t pulled in with his tinted windows up and music blaring. He was so careless in the maneuver that I just knew he was going to open his car door without looking. And I was right.

It wouldn't have been so bad except that he swore at me as if it was my fault. Sigh.

When it comes to the vehicles most likely to kill me though buses are keeping hold of the top spot with remarkable tenacity. Pulling out without indicating, pulling out when I'm halfway through overtaking them, bendies swinging their bottoms out at alarming moments. Bus drivers do it all. I almost respect their sheer lack of compassion for their fellow man.

At least van drivers occasionally leer a bit as they threaten my life.

Well a girl likes to be noticed.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Ride away the crapness

I'm having a pants day. everything seems to be against me.

I've fallen over at work, comforted someone who's had some gutting news and dealt with the rubbish NHS on behalf of a loved one to find out they'd basically been forgotten.

The falling over is a regular and very annoying thing. A problem with one bit of me means I often fall over onto both my knees. But normally it's not in front of the people in the tea room. Normally I don''t actually hurt myself. Normally it's because I've not exercised so the problem's got worse.

This time I've been exercising regularly and have actually lost weight but it's just not enough.

This problem will stay with me forever and the only way is down. I can't run as it's too high impact, I can't swim as I hate chlorine and it hurts too much, I can't afford to just eat chocolate and get fat enough that the eventual surgery is too risky.

My knees are killing me and I feel like crap but I can't wait to get on my bike and ride home. It'll hurt on the hills and I'll probably shout at least one rubbish driver but it'll be wonderful. Sometimes it's all I want to do.

Sex has a similarly wonderful endorphin effect, but I can't really seeing it becoming socially acceptable on the main road. Besides I love Roger and everything, but he's just never going to be anything more than a very good friend.

Friday, 27 March 2009

The battle of the sexes - alive and well on the Uxbridge Road

This morning a woman overtook me on the Uxbridge Road, it was a fairly unusual occurrence as the people who generally overtake me, and there are many of them, are boys.

In fact, many of the men who overtake me are clearly audible as they squeak up behind me at the lights and plant themselves in front of me. They've only caught up with me because I've stopped at a junction and many of them take forever to get going when the green light appears. Then they weave around for the next mile at a snail's pace, blocking me and leaving me unable to overtake, but perfectly able, and willing, to swear.

There are many lycra-clad men who overtake me but I'm happy to let those significantly faster than me whiz past. What bothers me is that many of the squeaky wheelers seem to feel honour bound to overtake me because there's a ponytail sticking out of my helmet. And despite the fact I ride a man's bike with large wheels and they're on a foldable with a wheel diameter equivalent to a yo-yo they still think they'll go faster than I do.*

Perhaps it's because I'm not the typical cyclists' build. I don't see many other people on the road who are of 'traditional build', nor do I see many who continue to jiggle for a fair distance after hitting a pot hole, but it's still unfair.

I almost hope one of them does it again soon, I may be a girl but my language shows I'm no lady.

* Obviously not experienced foldable riders with nice ones, just squeaky-wheeled weirdy ones.....

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Addiction, adrenaline and the power of rage

It was peeing with rain even before I left home this morning but I couldn't even think of taking the bus. The idea of standing at the stop for hours when I could be nipping round traffic, being sworn at by van drivers and getting really wet and cold was just too much. I knew it was wrong but I wanted to ride. So I did. Surely doing something you know will hurt in the long term and against your better judgment is an addiction. Oh dear.


I was tootling along in the cycle lane near my home, and in the rain, when someone tried to turn left right across my front wheel. I screeched to a stop a mere centimetre from their passenger door. After shouting something along the lines of "What on earth do you think you're doing?!" I sped off. And I mean sped.

What is it about getting really angry at a rubbish driver that makes you forget that your legs are on fire and you're soaking wet? The adrenaline and rage were such that I went a good four miles before I realised I was dripping and sore. When a really bad squall hit me near a handy station complete with bike racks I decided enough was enough.

If only someone else had nearly killed me I might have been able to go all the way in. Sigh.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

My new cycling shorts/nappy pants

Oh. My. God.

Having waited two and half weeks, my first pair of proper cycling shorts have arrived, and they're bloody hilarious. They're padded and look a little bit like I'm one of those ladies who doesn't want to laugh in public in case of an "accident".

Mr Weenie was less than supportive of my new gear and his response was a to laugh for several minutes, stop for breath and continue to snort throughout the evening. He can laugh all he wants but he's not the one who has spent the past year feeling like he's been smacked in the lady bits with a plank every time he goes over a speed bump.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Why is the wind always against you on a bike?!

It's never behind, just always in your face ready to blow you off at any moment, possibly into the path of a lorry. It's outrageous, frankly, and completely unfair.

Perhaps it was a little more annoying because half my face had been frozen by my rather attractive dentist but the fact remains that wind is just not the cyclists friend. At least I'd sewed up that hole in my leggings or else it would have been a somewhat intimate weather experience.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The motivation of having an enormous bottom

If someone had told me I’d be cycling 10 miles to work a year and a half ago, I’d have laughed them out of the building. But sometimes, all you need is a push....

Before getting a bike I knew that exercise existed, but to me it was a mythical and elusive thing, much like the unicorn or the postroom. But an office discussion about the rugby changed everything. Finding out that you weigh the same amount as Jonny Wilkinson is a moving event and it moved me all the way to the bike shop.

Armed with my Ride to Work voucher I was met in Evans by a bouncy young man approximately half my height and with energy to burn. On telling him that the distance to work was 10 miles and that I hadn’t been on a bike in about 10 years, he gave me a long and pitying look. He had assumed I meant the trip was 10 kilometres in total as a round trip. When I told him it was in fact 10 miles each way, his look went from pitying to incredulous.

We tried several bikes with varying success, in that I didn’t fall off some of them. I couldn’t stretch my legs on any of them and some were so flimsy I had to battle not to tip them over. As I was about to give up, he looked over me again. In his words I am “quite big” and he therefore decided it was time to try the men’s bikes. That was when he brought out Roger.

He’s a navy blue Pinnacle Stratus and was the first bike I’d felt safe and stable on. I had found the one, the bike to get me fit and cut my work journey. They sent him off to be tuned up and I prepared to take him home.

The sense of triumph was only marred as I left the shop, when the helpful assistant called after me: “Good luck, and don’t worry. My sister was a big girl too, but she got a bike and now her bottom is much smaller. Maybe the bike will help you as well!”