Hello again. Guess what, there’s a blue bottomed rhesus monkey clinging to the back of my bedroom door this morning. He’s hanging on for his life with his skinny mesh arms reaching up to the hook. Under his spongy blue bottom poke two limp little black and white lycra legs. He’s Red Bottom the Bike Knicks’ cousin I suspect, although I daren’t approach since I have no idea whether he’s been for his outing yet, and therefore whether or not he’s friendly to female noses.
“He’s ready to go into combat,” says my husband when I ask why the monkey is hanging there, “he might get an outing tomorrow.” Oh good he’s friendly, I can breathe again but combat? I thought this cycling caper was supposed to be enjoyable?
I wonder if I’ll ever really understand men, I’ve thrived professionally in one of the toughest male dominated industries for years and live with four man/teens/tween too, with all their socks and the Lynx cloud, but you still perplex me, you chaps.
Talking of chaps, outing The Handbags in Love Letters to Lycra 1 caused quite a stir this week. Not least because when they hit the streets at 5am the day after publication, one of them hadn’t actually read it and was rumoured to be quite touchy at being labelled a woman’s accessory. Can you blame him?
There was also allegedly
a bit a lot of amiable back and forth banter about what a wriggly fidget bottom is, and I suspect some aha moments realising that wriggly fidget bottom syndrome is not my husband’s alone to manage. Your Facebook and post comments appear to back up my theory, but I’d better not say any more or I might be chastised for breaching The Handbag Confidentiality Code.
At this point let’s shout out to all of the ladies who’ve joined the Love Letters to Lycra club. Go girls! I’ve never really been brave enough to get out onto the roads on a bike, although I do confess I own a pair of bike shoes, which I once wore to do a 50km sponsored ride on a borrowed road bike. I fell off. My husband got them out of retirement last week in a bid to try and get me on that ruddy wind trainer – can’t he see I’m far too busy writing to pedal up ‘Mont Ventoux’ and if I don’t keep writing he’ll wake up one morning prematurely married to a crazy lady. Writing is my thing, like cycling is his, along with golf and rugby and cricket….Oh, so many topics for so many stories.
The only other time he’s got me out on two wheels was when, in a rare moment between our parenting duties, he decided in his infinite wisdom to take me riding around Akuna Bay, land of “oh f*ck” hills (sorry), gravel run offs and sandstone walls. He was on some reasonably sleek, black, lightweight steed with go-faster wheels. I, on my trusty aluminium Trek mountain bike with knobbly tyres and feet in toe straps. He
had has rather splendid gluteal muscles and deliciously firm quads from years of hills, I did do not, so for the first twenty minutes I thought there was a good chance I might die as I tried to keep up. It was only the sight of his glutes in lycra that kept me going and we weren’t even into the National Park yet to begin the pretty bit he’d promised.
Then came the pretty bit, oh thank the deities it was downhill, which I believed to be a good thing. Sadly, the last thing I saw as I hit the gravel and landed sideways in a twisted heap at the foot of the sandstone wall, were those damn glutes disappearing around the bend. He reappeared seconds later, face stricken, to find me gingerly disentangling myself from the toe straps and frame while my right knee slowly inflated before our eyes.
Years of riding real steeds with live blood and brains taught me to get back on the horse when you fall off, no matter how broken you are, so get back on the horse I did. By the time we got to the cafe where I could sit to execute RICE, my knee was unrecognisable.
Whenever he’s reminded of this tale, he claims he holds the pre-Strava world speed record for fastest ascent of the Akuna East Hill to retrieve the car, to which I must respond with breathy sighs of “My hero,” with hand fluttering on heart. He’s probably right, he did seem to return remarkably fast, and for weeks afterwards he drove me back and forth to physio where I got to try a whizzbang doodaa called a hyperbaric chamber. Apparently it had been used by Jonny Wilkinson on his kicking leg so it was all worth it. Jonny and I shared air, and there is where I shall leave it for part 3.
Have a lovely day and stay safe out there won’t you? #ametrematters