Weeks 2–5: RPM and a Terrapin

As you have probably gathered, I have no knowledge of the bike. If you asked me the following:

  1. What is a draggy climb?
  2. How do you change a tyre if you get a flat?
  3. What is the difference between MTB, TT and RPM?

I would have looked at you blankly. To the third one, I would have tried to be humorous and made up something up like: “RPM? Easy mate, Red Pantie Mannequin”

The reality is, there has been a lot to learn. The bike leg is 202km. Shit.With a lot of draggy climbs (I now understand, they are climbs that drag!). Double shit. I could get a flat and might need a gas canister of some sort to fix it. Sorry what?

The Watt Bike has been my best friend of late. The travelling I’ve done with work coupled with hockey being cancelled due to a frozen pitch has meant that I have spent a lot of time on YouTube videos with GCN (Global Cycling Network). Each spin gets easier and easier, and on my first solo ride the other day I felt like a natural.

I felt like a natural, up until the minute I hit a red traffic light. I tried to unclip myself to rest my legs whilst I obeyed the Highway Code. Then I felt that wobbly feeling in my calf. Cramp. Within a total of 1.36 seconds it was like a terrapin had come out of the gutter and got hold of my calf. I instantly fell over, bike and all.

What I didn’t notice (or care about) was the green light. I had around 73 cars behind me wanting to move, and I was wriggling on the floor in their way. To them it must have looked like I just fell over.

I had to find a way to crawl with my bike to the pavement.

In the end I did it, but my pride took a huge hit. To make it worse a white van man drove past and said…

“Did you have a wet dream mate?”

I wish I had said something clever back to him. Maybe hit him back with a mum joke or something. But I didn’t. I stayed down with my face to the sky waiting until the tears from the pain dried on my cheeks.

I’m really confident.