As is a common theme in this great saga that is my life, the fickle finger of fate has intervened yet again at a totally inappropriate time. There was I all geared up for my greatest (i.e. only) cycling challenge yet – the Etape Caledonia – only to be smitten by a lurgy in the form of an exploding head. Not once, not twice but thrice was I so smote, the first of which occurring after my flat at the beginning of the Walkers ride last Thursday. (On an aside, please note that although I had been a Walkers member for a matter of mere days at the time of that incident, it did allow me to become a club record holder. Albeit it is for the shortest recorded ride on a club night, but hey, it’s still a record and I’m proud of it.) It transpires that my headaches are also accompanied by massive BP hikes (no, not petrol price increases – blood pressure. Do pay attention) To cut a long story short the quack has suggested I don’t go belting about the Perthshire countryside for 80+ miles until there’s some indication of why I should be recording levels normally associated with seismic activity. It’s all very frustrating especially as my BP has been tediously normal all my life. The temptation is to be very melodramatic and imagine meningitis, brain tumours and haemorrages and panicky nocturnal rushes to hospital where you are met by the cast of “Casualty” who rush you about on a trolley shouting cycle injury related phrases like “Major lycra trauma coming through – her Gore Tex jacket doesn’t match her Specialized shorts!” and “She’s asystolic! Too much static from her helmet hair!” I suspect I may just be away on a flight of fancy here. I’ll stop shall I?
Anyway, the bottom line is Etape Caledonia is a no-no for this year. But I have already booked my place for next year’s event along with Etape Hibernia (the latter being just an excuse for a weekend in Ireland but who’s caring.) As it happens there seems to be a bunch from Walkers going along which is good.
And talking of Walkers, which indeed I have done at least three times so far, I yesterday undertook my first Saturday ride with the boys in the shape of Alan and Matthew. If you ever meet them you’ll understand why “shape” is an altogether appropriate word! We did a rather splendid if somewhat warm tour of several counties including South Lanarkshire, Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and at least two of the Ayrshires. 43 miles or so including the FGH (work it out: your starter for ten is that the last two words are “great” and “hill”) that is the Eaglesham Moor. Not only a hill but one in the midst of a crosswind that took your bike sidey-ways regularly but always when you least expected it. All in all I thought I coped admirably for one who isn’t usually good at hills (and, of course, for one who is in the clutches of a major illness!) Hah! Maybe I’m getting better at this cycling stuff but hills are getting noticeably easier. Hope so.
Right, I’m off now to find out how my friend is coping with her major-liver-failure-soon-to-be-transplant. I am not alone in suffering department. Headaches? Sore hip? Back pain? What a pain in the arse it all is!
See y’all again soon.
(with apologies to anyone reading this who might actually have a serious illness.)