Friday, 1 March 2013

The Bike

The bike came from ebay. It has 10 gears with a tight span at a high gear ratio. This means the chance of me managing to cycle up a hill is even less than usual.

I hate hills. If I can't get somewhere without cycling along Brighton seafront and then walking when the road starts to tilt; I drive. I hate hills. More evidence to support that statement? My original plan was to cycle from Bilbao to Barcelona - a distance of around 500 miles, but then on perusing the map I spied not merely a hill, but a mountain range. Big Spanish fuckers. So, now I am cycling from the Channel to Barcelona which is around 800 miles. 300 more miles of cycling to avoid hills. I hate hills.

Keith (my beloved and a life-long cyclist) told me what to say to the person at the bike shop to get him to replace my gears for hill-friendly ones (that's an engine, right?). I rang the bike shop and said some words the like and meaning of which I know not. I don't know what's worse; having to admit you're an idiot or demonstrating that you are one whilst attempting not to be. I think that dropping into the conversation that I would be cycling 800 miles alone on this 30 year old virtually gearless bike with this 45 year old virtually stranger-to-exercise body either convinced him that a) I did in fact, despite what was coming out of my gob, know what I was talking about and was a seasoned cyclist, or b) I was not very well and should not be alarmed.

Apparently, I've got 24 and I'm getting 28, which will make it easier 'but not as easy as I'm sure you'd like it'. How dare he. 'Nah, I love hills', I enthused, 'more of a challenge'. I didn't say that. That would make me look like an idiot.

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