When Queen sang about riding his bicycle, all that seemed to be necessary for a good time was a bell and some fat bottom girls. Well, Mr Freddie Murcury, my recent Tour de Farce will beg to differ.
Stage 1: My achilles has been pretty tight over the past few days so on Friday I decided to cross-train and cycle out to Lemoine's Point and back. It's about half and hour each way, so you will appreciate that at approximately 27 minutes into the ride, when I'm about as far from my house as I'll get, lo and behold, I blow out my back tire. I'm also at the furthest point away from my cell phone and a tire repair kit. However, I am fairly close to my Mum's high school, where she teaches, at at the time was about 2:10pm, I decided to run there and get her to drive me and my bike home when school ends at 2:35. Simple. With that plan in mind I lock my bike to a fence and run the 5ish k to the school. I reach the edge of the school grounds at 2:32 and realize that I'm about to hit rush hour when the the school hallways will be packed with kids as they leave class. Me, dressed in black spandex shorts and a rather sweaty t-shirt (it was a blazing hot day), would look decidedly out of place. I enter the school, and yes, it's packed. Brilliant. Acting like I own the place and have important business there, I make a beeline to my Mum's office. She's away at a meeting and has a soccer practice to coach after class anyway. Fortunately, another teacher who I know is about to leave and she offers me a lift home. I'm out of there.
Stage 2: The next morning I did 3 miles easy on the track and then hit the gym with Kev. In the afternoon I did a steady half hour again on the track with James. The achilles was alright...still a little tight though.
Stage 3: I did about 4 miles on the track with some strides and the achilles felt better, but still a little tight. I decided to hit the bike again that afternoon for a solid workout and give my achilles a proper rest at the same time. Unfortunately, mid-afternoon, I was overcome my fatigue and took a nap. A wonderful nap, but I slept past 4pm- the time at which the Queen's Athletic and Rec Centre (ARC) closes. Ok...now I guess I'll have to fix my bike tire. But I haven't the right tools (I broke the wrench in the bike kit the last time I tried to fix a tire). And neither do my housemates or friends. Dad's toolbox in the basement? Nothing there of use. Random drawer in the house after a long search? Bingo! Found an adjustable wrench.
I remove the tire and patch it....but then realize that by the time the patch sets properly and I get the inner tube back on and the wheel mounted, it will be dark. So I ask to borrow my housemates bicycle.
Stage 4: My housemate, Theresa, kindly lent me her bicycle, however our 6 inch height differential meant I had to raise the seat. Not usually an issue except that the seat was locked to the bike frame to prevent people from stealing it. The lock consists of a metal fibre joined in a loop by a vice-type mechanism that is secured with couple of nuts and bolts. I reach for the wrench set (that my friend Clay brought around to my house - belatedly for removing my tire, but in time for this job) and opened it upside down....spilling the contents on the floor. I find the right sized wrench head and remove the lock....and then spend 10mins putting all the pieces back into the correct holes.
Stage 5: Finally out the door and into the wind and rain, at which point I realize that this bicycle it what I would refer to as a "picnic bicycle". That is to say: I'm sure that a young girl in a summer dress and a flower in her hair would love to ride this bicycle to a park to meet friends for an afternoon picnic. There is nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't quite fit the bill for an elite miler in progress looking for some good cardio by hammering out an hour on the road. I'm not too sure how to describe it but the handle bars were funky, the wheels and frame bulky and heavy, the seat in a strange position, and, in an ironic twist of fate, the tires were half flat. I made it about 1 mile before I decided to turn my ride into a 2 mile loop and get home as quick as I could.
Stage 6: Wanting to at least warm up my legs enough to be able to give them a good stretch, I headed back outside and ran to the track for a mile and a half of easy running. Then home, shower, stretch, dinner and onto the blogosphere to release my frustrations in the most creative way I could think of. The achilles was alright but I couldn't be bothered to do much more. Tomorrow I shall reassess the achilles and will be sure to get two good workouts of something in...thought I somehow doubt that I will be cycling any time soon.