In Which I Swear A Lot
Bike Trouble Part 1
I pride myself in never having a puncture in the 2 1/2 years of riding a bike. Neither the mountain bike nor road bike has ever let me down, and so I knew I was over due a puncture or something.
That puncture happened on Feb 27th. Wasn’t anything major, I only noticed I had one when I was leaving work, so (as I pass a Halfords bike shop on my way home) I called into the Halfords bike shop (which I pass on my way home) and asked if they’d have a look.
I turned down their offer (upselling action) of offering to change the inner tube and had Ironman Tony come rescue me in his van. Got home, Tony showed me how to change an inner tube (never had a puncture so never done it before) and bike was back to normal.
My birthday is March 14th, and my lovely wife Sarah had bought me triathlon swimming lessons. The course started on March 5th however, so I got my present early. She’d been into the pool, said I could only do breast stroke and wanted to learn front crawl because I was a novice at it, and they told her which course to sign me up to.
After work on the 5th (12 hour shift) I ran to Shipley Pool (3.5 miles) and got all giddy about my lesson. Giddyness soon buggered off when I saw the other people in my class, each looking more triathlete than the last. They even had water bottles and stuff for the side of the pool! Lining up at the pool edge, I was relieved when the instructor told me I was in the other class. (Read: less athletic.)
The group I was with was mainly older people, but a girl around my age and a boy about 20, so I relaxed myself out. The new instructor told everyone to do eight lengths (200m) however we wanted to warm up. I was lapped by everyone.
Next, she said to do a length front crawl.
I got her attention and said I couldn’t do front crawl. She said ‘why not?’ I said ‘I can’t do it, which is why I’m here, to learn how to do front crawl.’
She looked… What’s the word… Pissed off. ‘Ok,’ she said ‘Do what you can in front crawl.’
‘I, erm, can’t do front crawl?’
‘Not at all?’
‘Well no. Which is why I’m here. To learn it. Front crawl. To learn how to front crawl. Here.’
‘Right… Well then, use the float behind you and do your right arm like this’ (she motioned an arm movement) ‘and do the strike three times.’
Right, Yep, start at the start and that, let’s go!
*splutter* *gasp* *cough*
‘You aren’t doing the breathing properly’ she told me.
‘Ah ok, how should I do it?’
‘Well, how you do it in front crawl.’
After a few more attempts and a few more ‘why are you raising your head?’ ‘Because I don’t know how I should have my head?’ and ‘You need to roll your head on your shoulder when breathing’ ‘I have no idea’ she pulled me to one side and said ‘you might be in the wrong class.’
(I’m doing my best to think of a Sherlock Holmes / swimming pun but can’t. So we’ll go with ‘no shit.’)
Another person came over and told me I should be on a lower level of lesson. I explained that my wife had explained about my swimming ability and was told this class would be ideal. I was told that there was another class which would suit me, but it’s at another pool. Another 4 miles further down the road and from home. Fine, I said, swap me onto that one. They did.
Literelly, out of my depth.
Bike Trouble Part 2
Saturday the 7th of March was the next time I rode my bike. Wasn’t starting til 10 so decided to get a few miles in before work.
Within the first half mile I stuck my arm out to turn right and made sure nothing was coming towards me on the other side (english roads remember) looked over my shoulder when a Mini was slowing down, got into the middle of the road and I turned, WHICH THE DRIVER OF THE MINI DECIDED WAS THE OPTIMUM TIME TO TRY OVERTAKE ME LIKE A BIG CHUFFING WAZZOCK!!!
They even had the nerve to beep! Tossers.
I carried on, and got onto the two mile stretch of straight, downhill road. Halfway down it my foot slipped off the right pedal (at 30mph) at the front wheel started to wobble. I noticed a car overtake me as this was happening and my wheel wobbled more. There was no panic, oddly enough, but a voice in my head said ‘Yeah, I’m coming off here.’
Seconds felt like hours, but my wheel straightened out and I sighed a relief filled sigh. Luckily enough, nothing else was filled.
Bottom of the hill, over the lights, then: *whuppawhuppawhuppawhuppa*
Another puncture, two in eight days, two in two rides. Rescued again in the evening by Ironman Tony but this time it turned out I had TWO punctures in the same inner tube. Ironman changed the tube again as it was a right bugger to take off, then the next tube blew as it was inflated. About right.
Sarah rang them the next day to have a go about being on the wrong course (well her mum, Susan, pretended to be her at first but then Sarah took over.) She spoke to someone who told me I could actually do the other course at the original pool which is a lot better for me.
Rode my bike to work and back, no trouble. Run a bit too. Started my newest swimming lessons and as it turns out my new instructor is the instructor that taught me to swim originally two years ago. I’ve had a birthday. I’m now 33, and have somehow ended up agreeing to adopt two baby rabbits. Spent a day converting my shed into a rabbit house.
(The ginger one is a girl, called Steve. The grey one is also a girl, called whisper. I named both.)
I also got a load of Tri stuff from Sarah for my birthday including cycling glasses, new swimming goggles and this brilliant medal display:
Hopefully got all the punctures and set backs out the way, training starts proper now. Also, reached over £200 raised so far. Help out if you can. 🙂