I’ve already said in a previous post that intend to do the London-Brighton bike ride and I pulled my bike out of the garage to commence operation Get-Bea-Riding. The seat had split so I pinched my husband’s padded seat cover.
Next on the list is the bike rack – luckily a neighbour saw me struggling (‘couldn’t bear to watch you thrash it any longer. I thought you were going to run it over’) and came over to help. Let just say, this bike rack must have been designed by someone who suffers from that weird condition known as ‘too-many-arms’.
With my daughter’s help I lifted on the bike and we all trundled off to a friend’s house in Windsor. Once there, I pumped up my flat tyres and also pulled on my new padded bike shorts (they’re supposed to be panties but there’s no way I’m travelling sans a proper pair of knickers).
I shall refer to my buddies as Ms S and Ms C. Neither Ms S nor Ms C possess bike helmets so, in a show of solidarity, I left mine behind. I don’t have a water bottle holder so I left that behind too, hoping one of my buddies would share theirs. I did not however relinquish my bike gloves (well, my husband’s bike gloves) as I am fully aware what an extended length of time resting on one’s hands will do – oh, please, do use your imagination!
Ready to face the challenge of Windsor Great Park, Ms S, Ms C and I leapt onto our bikes (that sounds more energetic than it was in reality) and trundled off. We stopped half a minute later so I could activate ‘MapMyRide’ – my android phone app to let us know how wonderfully we were doing.
I have walked around the Great Park several times and it is a wonderful place. Peaceful, spacious, acres of fields and woods and well maintained gently undulating pathways. As a biker the gently undulating pathways suddenly morphed into steep, unkempt, pot-holed, gravel-laden, slippery paths. Gentle inclines suddenly loomed like near-vertical slopes and three times I got off to walk – one of those times I just convinced myself there was no way I could manage it without a conveniently accessible de-fibrillator. A bike can do strange things to one’s perspective.
8.23 miles later (no, I’m not telling you how long we took!) we returned home not because we were tired, or because our legs ached but because Ms S had sore shoulders, Ms C’s hands were very tender (I had offered to share my gloves) and my front bottom* was broken (at least, that’s what it felt like), despite the double padding – triple if you count the natural padding covering my rather generous arse. My lovely buddies were very polite in not mentioning my additional (over)weight that naturally ground me into the saddle, and pounded me onto the seat whenever we went over the smallest pebble or dip.
So, my first foray into biking this year was, in equal parts, a delight and a pain. I just had to have pudding to comfort my poor, bruised nether regions.
*insert whatever euphemism you feel most comfortable with. eg Frou-frou; Shelleys; baby-maker; fanny; Aunt Bess; HooHa; Yaya; Mound of Aphrodite.