Friday, 7 September 2007

A Beautiful Day

Uncannily, the weather here in Fife has been absolutely divine for the last week, culminating in today's scorching sun and light sea breeze. Thus, with a song in my heart, I decided to go for a 20km bike ride ...

... in the gym.

Yes, I know, rather peculiar of me I admit, but the thought of cycling back up our hill drove me into such black despair I thought it best to go to the gym and miss out on the sunshine rather than forget about cycling at all and eat my way through the rest of the vast bag of peanut M&Ms in the sitting room. Anyway, Fisher more than made up for it by running into St Andrews and emerging all sun-kissed at the end of it.

So, after logging some more travel tips on Cosmotourist, I pootled into St Andrews with the pooches and parked at the gym. First, I'd like to say that I've been rather disconsolate about my cycling over the last couple of days as I checked out some times for county triathlons and discovered I'm not the speed demon I thought I was on the bike. Secretly, deep in my heart, I fantasised that my enjoyment levels accurately reflected my ability, and on my way to Tentsmuir the other day, day-dreamed of being so fast in a cycling race I atually overtook some of the professional peloton ("Tell me," says Steve Ryder, interviewing me at the end, "when did you discover you had this astonishing talent?" "Well Steve," I reply, wide-eyed and modest, "I'm as astonished as you! I'm just your average fat chick on a bike, trying to do the best I can." "But how did you feel when you overtook Lance Armstrong on the final stretch?" "Well, Steve, we ought to give the guy a break. He's been out a long time. Hell, he wouldn't even have been here at all had he not been the only cyclist I actually know and can picture in a fantasy ..."). The fastest time for 20km in the Cheshire Sprint was around 38 minutes - which brought me back to earth with a bump and made me feel all chubby and slow again.

I was determined to make myself proud today - but the poxy, rubbish, piece of crap bike in the St Andrew's gym only goes up to a 30 minute workout. I had to fanny about remembering numbers and reset the thing after the first workout finished in order to go the requisite 12.4 miles. Anyway, I did my 20km - just! On mile 10 I had a veeeery slight concern I was about to have a heart attack and keel off my bike, plopping on the floor with a soggy splat. Luckily I got my heart rate under control and finished without death - in roughly 46 1/2 minutes. That puts me 63rd out of 143 in the Cheshire Sprint! I'll take that! (Ok, I know the gym is a pretty inaccurate portrayal of the real world, and in the Cheshire Sprint they were actually cycling after already swimming for 750m - but screw it! I wasn't last! I was, in fact very far from last, so ner ner ner. Oops - there goes Lance Armstrong again. Cheerio!)

Anyway, I'm so merry right now I could almost spew! And because we stopped off at IJ Mellis' on the way home - it's CHEESE for supper! Hoorah! Life just doesn't get better.