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.