Prior to christmas i was actually going on 3 x weekly 20 min runs ( not marathons i know) but it kept me ticking along. I have officially done no exercise since Dec 19th or whenever the james concert was, and even the adult suck it all in, all in ones aren't doing the trick anymore and there is only so much hiding under layers of thermals you can get away with,(except today when it actually properly snowed for a good half an hour) so the time finally came for me to do some exercise. So about a week ago i think, i went for my usual run and arrived back wheezing, with my heart racing, and then could barely walk for two days, so i decided that i should just get on the Bike and practice hills,(there are plenty of them in Plymouth) but lo my bike(the blue one that i ordered) was not ready, so i grabbed James' bike and had a lovely cycle to saltram instead.
As i raced along i thought this is great, i have so done the right thing, i love cycling, i am so happy.
And then i picked up my bike( the blue one that i ordered) I turned up in my sporty top and jogging bottoms tucked into my thermals underneath, and cheerfully asked the till assistant/bike guru if he would remove all the remaining packaging as i was planning to cycle it home. How pleased he was. And how truly taken in by my sporting prowess. I declined his enthusiastic offer of carrying it down the stairs for me, despite James telling me to make sure he did, and carted it down myself, so keen was i to get going, unfortunately nearly knocking over the fire extinguisher on the way down.
Then when i got outside i realised i had a sixteen inch bike with a seat down as low as it could go and no tools to raise it with.( i was imagining a straight forward lever like i have had on all bikes in the past) but this had a secret place to raise it with and i didn't know that secret place, and i also didn't have the top secret tool.( so secret they don't even hand it out when you buy the bike)
So i did have a glance at the instructions, and i did hesitate for a moment and think about trapsing back in and asking the really technical question: how do you raise the seat? but then i thought no, i'll manage.
And so i cycled like a circus clown with my knees going up higher than my hips on each rotation of the pedals, from the embankment to Old laira Road, up Alexander Road to Mutley. I've done that journey lots of times. I felt sure i whizzed up the hill on James's bike despite it being much heavier and 6 ft man sized, but this was hard work.
Still undeterred, i got it home and read through the instructions, and after searching the cupboard under the stairs i found a little tiny tool which successfully raised my seat. I also found about four bike locks all without Keys. I have attempted to understand my shiny new bike but i am still struggling. There are lots of things on it that i can see that aren't on the bike diagram and i don't know what they are which is a little disturbing( should they be on, off, tightened, adjusted etc) and there seem to be a few elementary problems which even as a non bike guru i think aren't quite right for a new bike and i have been back onto google and Ask.com with the following questions:
- Should new gears( particularly V type tectro brakes) squeal loudly?
- Should the front brake( the one that is squeaking) be much looser than the back brake?
- And what exactly is a speed lock and should it be open or locked?
If anyone knows these answers i will be delighted to find out. And yes i will be phoning up the bike shop before the planned six week inspection but i have had a lot on my plate recently and haven't quite got around to it.
Despite that, i have had two further bike rides since then ( just 30/40 minute pootles and i have practiced going up and down some hills in Plymouth such as Mannamead road, Efford lane( a killer) and somewhere in compton. As i went down Efford lane at a snails pace, with my brakes screeching i was reminded of a former work colleague, a young physio at the time who amused us all by announcing that she preferred cycling up hills than down them, In fact she was so scared of picking up too much speed that she used to get off at the top of the hill and walk down. We thought this was highly amusing at the time, but halfway down the hill as i had visions of brakes failing, wheels falling off and my teeth being knocked out, i decided to get off and walk to the bottom. Which reminds me i have a dental appointment on Thursday.
The other problem i am wrestling with is getting used to the grip shift gears which i think will be ok in the end, and i could grow to like them, but i can't get used to the diferent wrist actions to go up and down, so i frequently mis-change gears at the bottom of a hill and find i am stuck and motionless in a high gear. For some reason i have to extend my left wrist, so finger tips go to the sky to move the gears down from level 3 to 1 , but flex my right wrist forwards to move up a gear from 1-8. Or something like that. Whatever, the end result is that i have nearly gone into the kerb three times due to looking down and concentrating on what my hands are doing instead of watching the road ahead. That also reminds me of one time when i cycled to Whitsands in cornwall and managed to do my nosey neighbour bit, staring at some lads in a car opposite, only to find when i returned my gaze to the road ahead that i had hit the Kerb and was sailing through the air luckily to land on a nice piece of grass with the sound of laughter behind me.
Well that's enough about bikes. what else has been happening. Well as you can see from my just giving page i have had lots of lovely people donating their hard earned cash. I've had friends from my training days,( lindsay) friends with Kids, ( Lindy sam and Nico) a pilot, captain Cheese who happened to be sitting next to me and was a passenger on the Exeter to manchester flight before christmas, and friends from Australia ( lucy and family, and even her brother who i have never met but i think keira and i swam in their pool last year) I am amazed at everyone's generosity and it is quite addictive checking the website every day to see if there have been any changes. Overnight today i had £75 donated from Australia, taking the total to £545 and then tonight it had leapt to a whopping £ 645, and i nearly fell off my chair before i realised that my parents had donated online instead of giving me a cheque. Unfortunately they gave me a cheque for the charity at Christmas but i hadn't banked it as it was made payable to me and not the trust, but i had counted that as part of the offline total raised. So now i have had to edit the offline raised amount and reduce it by £100 which looks a bit dodgy.. I can see me being hauled before the fraud office soon.
As well as the online fundraising i have been finishing a letter and flyers for a girls night in, with wine, nail treatments and nibbles at the end of Feb which i will be inviting the mums at the school to and charging an entry fee. I held a car boot sale last week which my parents and keira helped me with and raised the princely sum of £10, so i am now in the process of advertising my bigger things for sale, like high chair, bouncy chair pram and car seat on Plymouth Gum tree which is like a local e-bay and i am also seeking permission from the powers that be at Argyle football ground tomorrow to shake my charity tin about outside the match this saturday. One of Keira's friends' mum runs a cafe and has also allowed me to leave a charity tin there and i am waiting to hear back from businesses in Plymouth that i sent letters to, particularly Morrisons where i pointed out i spend a "significant monthly amount" I don't think i'll ever get a job in PR.
Well apart from all that i have been busy securing references from Ireland to allow me to start my new locum physio post at Mount Gould that i was accepted for before i went on holiday, and also applying online for the New permanent post that has come up since i have been waiting to start and which i would really really like, but it will be hard work, and i am running out of time.
My back room looks like a jumble sale after taking back most of the stock i originally packed into the car boot on saturday, and i keep finding christmas decorations up that should have been packed away ages ago.
And today, after school i got told off by keira for sending her to School with no shoes. ( i put wellies on her cos it was snowing and then forgot to send her shoes in with her as well)
Oh well, i'm getting old.
Well that's all for now i think. Thanks to everyone who has donated and i know there are others whi have said they will donate but are holding off for the moment so thank you too.