Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Campaign Starts Here

Ok, the campaign to get that 'yellow' elite number starts here. In running kit I jog to the bus stop and wait for the Rainbow 4. Those clever new electronic signs that work on GPS tracking tell me the bus is due in 4 mins, 5 mins, 4 mins, 6 mins, 3 mins... all very confusing. Then suddenly it's here. I get the bus to Borrowash, get off and run the rest of the way to work.

It's actually a nice morning for a run along the river. Yep, very pleasant, traffic free, a dry footpath, sunny weather. I hate to say this but it was probably better than cycling. It took me around 34 minutes which for approximately 7km is appalling. I was expecting 28-29 mins. I will have to re-measure it.

A two-trip ticket cost me £4.30, so running 7km saved me 70p compared with the Red Arrow. So it's a good job I'm not doing this for financial gain. Yes, I bought a two-trip ticket, so I'll have to do it again.

L asks whether I missed running with Doggo. Doggo who?

Daughter's school has an 'Enterprise Day' today, which means they have no lessons. According to the internet 'Enterprise day' is a day with 'a more vocational twist than usual with tasks and projects beings undertaken to replicate real jobs as an introduction to the business world'. I think she said she'd spent the day building a lighthouse but I might have misheard. We’d have called that a ‘doss’ day in my day.

Complicated business this training, especially with a social life. I'm meeting an old school friend after work, so as well as having bike kit, running kit and work clothes stashed at work, I've had to leave some jeans and stuff there as well. Only problem is that I've forgotten to leave a coat and come 4.30 it's literally bucketing it down. I'm concerned but the two people who have cycled in today are looking seriously worried. Unlike me, they've haven't got any wet weather bike gear. Luckily for all concerned it abruptly stops at about 4.50.

L's not so lucky. She's been out in the rain with Dingbat, which is her latest affectionate pet name for Doggo but they're still speaking, so she says. At least someone's still speaking to him.

On the way to meet my friend I attempt to post a letter which is harder than you would think when you've in an area where you've no idea where the post boxes are. So I head towards the main post office checking every street on the way. Nothing. Wonder if there's such a thing as website called www.findapostbox.com.

Then someone shouts, what at first I think is abuse, at me from a passing car. It turns out to be another chap from school who's joining us tonight. After a couple of beers we adjourn for a curry, which is actually rather excellent.

My friend, who is rather 'old school' and acting his age rather than denying it like me, says he's being pursued by a woman who's ten years his junior. Sounds like heaven. She's from his cycling club, where's he's heading later tonight. The sly old sod, beer and curry with me and then off to where he's got a woman waiting with the engine running. He's not happy though, he says she pushy and keeps emailing and texting him. She sounds keen then. Unfortunately he's just not into to these new fangled communication methods, he still doesn’t think they'll catch on. He is, after all, the only person who still rings me on the telephone to arrange a night out. All the same, he can't be turning her down just because she's likes to use email, so I assume she must be a bit of a goat but he says not. He describes her as fit, attractive and of course she's a cyclist too, probably got some carbon kit at home. So what's he playing at. He does concede that she has mentioned 'wanting children'. Hmmm, dangerous territory if there's a ticking biological clock involved and a bit premature if they've only been out a few times. He walks with me to my bus, delaying going to his cycling club meeting where he reckons she'll be plotting her next move.

A few times turns out to be nine. Nine times and I get the impression he hasn't even considered checking out her lycra. The poor girl, she must be climbing the walls in frustration. It also makes you wonder what's wrong with the rest of the cycling club. There's a damsel in the distress amongst their ranks and no one's riding to her rescue.

I get an unexpected diagnosis of what could possible be wrong as soon as I walk in the door at home. I think I interrupted L and Daughter in the middle of 'Embarrassing Illnesses'. They brief me on male cyclists and their problems with infertility, which seems apt after my night out. Mind you it was never a problem for 'Il Pirata', Marco Pantani, the great Italian cyclist. He once famously said that he had 'the sexual appetite of a wolf', mind you he was dead by the time he was 34, so perhaps it was all down to the drugs he took.

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