Sunday, 16 October 2011

Is someone shooting at us?

My gym is full of naked women.  

Well, not the gym exactly, but certainly the women’s changing rooms.

Large naked women. Who wander around - starkers - for what seems like hours. I can arrive, change, swim, steam in the steam room, and they’re still in the changing room, rubbing moisturiser into their naked form. Leg up on the bench, rub a dub dub.

So this weekend I decided to give the gym a miss a miss miss, and went for a bike ride instead.

I have not been on a bike ride for many years, but turns out there is truth in the saying – you really don’t forget how to do it. I even roped in a willing bike-ride companion.

She had not been on a bike ride for a while either.

“Can we take our handbags with us?” was one of many questions that revealed our amateur biking status. We decreed the answer to be yes. We even packed a pump and a bike lock.

Obviously we hit the bike path: neither of dared brave actual roads and traffic.

And then 10 minutes into the bike ride, disaster struck. I thought we had been shot at. Luckily we had not been shot at, but my fellow rider’s inner tube had exploded. Boom.

In the process of exploding it had lovingly tangled itself around the wheel/spokes/ brakes and taken her back wheel totally out of action.

The boyfriend’s question on my return home was “why didn’t you just take the inner tube out?” Thanks love. We hadn’t thought of that.

So, 2 miles of huffing and puffing later, with us taking turns to drag/push/attempt to carry the bike, we arrived at a bike shop. Our legs were bruised from the bloody pedals crashing into them and our clothes were drenched with sweat, but we had survived.

We had not (as my companion had so wanted to) admitted defeat and called someone with a car to come and get us.

Of course the man at the bike shop repaired the wheel no problem, and did not seem to appreciate the epic struggle of wills that had brought us to that point.

He even had the cheek to comment that we clearly ‘hadn’t been girl guides.’ Well,  matey, I certainly was a girl guide, and no-where in the ‘Brownie Guide Promise’ does it say anything about the ability to repair a ruptured inner tube.

It was around this moment that my fellow rider remembered that whilst she had packed the bike lock, the key was sitting safely back at her house.


As we asked the bike shop men if we could ‘borrow a lock’ we pretty much wanted the ground to open up.

And then we tried to lock our bikes up on the railings in front of the bikeshop. But they wouldn’t fit. No, really, they wouldn’t. I am not technically illiterate. I can programme an alarm clock, build ikea furniture and own ‘no-more-nails.’ So I am telling you now that the lock would not physically go around 2 bikes and that rail. But there we were, standing outside the shop, a large glass front revealing our struggle to the men inside. Oh god, we're sweating again.

I could cope with the embarrassment no more and insisted we shuffle down the street out of sight of their pitying glances.

Bikes locked up successfully and the sweats subsiding, surely it was time for lunch?

Maybe I could get used to this cycling lark.


  1. Too funny. The part about the naked women reminds me about my daughters teacher a couple of years ago.

    In the last week of my daughters 6th grade, her teacher arranged for the girls in the class to go swimming one day at a local YWCA. The teacher asked for 3 of the mothers of the girls to go along on the trip to the Y so that they could assist her getting everyone on the bus and making sure everyone was safe while in the pool. I was one of the 3 mothers that assisted.

    After the swim we all headed to the locker room to shower and get dressed before heading back to the school. The locker room had nothing but open group showers. All but a few of the girls chose to shower-off in their swimsuits, which is what I also did. But the other two moms and the teacher showered in the nude. And then the teacher in particular stayed completely naked while she blow-dried her hair and put on her makeup.


  2. ha! Glad it happens across the pond too! thanks for reading. rachel