It’s really been a long time hasn’t it?
I made great plans to be racing this winter. Great big plans which involved me buying and building a bike specific for the task of racing cyclocross.
Being the slightly behind the times, wannabe hip young gunslinger, I thought “I know. I’ll get a pompino and race single speed. That’ll be a laugh”.
I got a carbon fork, I got knobbly tyres. I went for a ride in Kent on it. I went to a taster session at Herne Hill. I enjoyed both. I really enjoyed the sessions. I thought, “this could be fun”.
And then. Life got in the way again.
We’re trying to buy a flat. Our first one. We don’t want to pay someone else’s mortgage anymore, we’re not looking to make a killing in the property market. We’ve lived in Streatham for 4 years now, my daughter (more on this later) is now 2. We’ve got her into a really good nursery around the corner from where we lived previously. We’re happy here. Unfortunately, it’s just taking more time than we thought. So we’re “in between” houses thanks to a misunderstanding between me and my old landlord. I didn’t give notice, they thought I had, got new tenants in and well, out we went. We packed up our house in December and have lived in Tooting for a month, before we’ve settled into our new temporary accomodation in West Norwood.
It’s a bit like this:
All my bike stuff is in storage in the storage place just around the corner from the house. I can easily reach my bike tools, which is good as I need to replace my brake pads and do some greasing. I saw a wheel bag last time I was in there just after Christmas. I opened it. I looked inside. I was disappointed, they were the road wheels. I looked to the back of the storage unit. There. Just at the very back. At the very top. There was music in my head. There was a slight glow around the bag. That must be my cross wheels. There’s no fucking way I can reach them. Season over.
Life has definitely got in the way again. My turbo trainer is somewhere in there. My road bike is at someone else’s house. In an effort to prevent myself increasing in size to “normal”, I have taken to riding the perimeter of London’s central park. In the mornings before work and in the evenings after work. So far this has been agreeable. It’s a total strava zone though, so I expect it to get incredibly boring and tedious if the weather begins to show signs of improving. I’m plodding around there on one gear. Attempting to bolt on extra miles without thinking about “efforts”, “intervals”, “vomit zones”. None of which I really visit anyway. It’s definitely a dadzone, prework/postwork, that I’m inhabiting. Going round in circles, getting up early to get some exercise.
This flits around a bit, but I had three whole weeks off work at Christmas. I didn’t use a bike at all during this time. I ate so many mince pies. I cooked a decent Christmas dinner. I introduced Miriam to Star Wars. “Black guy. Darth Vader. KILL HIM!” “I’m being an ewok. Beechawawa!”, I watched Brave loads of times. I shot imaginary arrows from an imaginary bow. I pretended to be Angus the horse from Brave. I had to. I had no choice. “You be horsey, and I’ll be Merida”.
I bought a balance bike for Miriam. It is, as yet, untouched. I’m not forcing the issue, it’s heavier than her toddlebike. She’ll get it in her own time.
We’ve played football. We’ve moved house twice. We’ve had some cosmic moments in the “disco” room in the ramshackle mansion we’re staying in.
“everyone put wings on. We’ve got perfect wings. Let’s fly!”
More from Main Attrakionz here:
Miriam has coped really well, which is the important thing. It’s quite an upheaval, she hasn’t got her own room anymore. Even though there are loads of rooms in the house. We’re all sleeping in the same room. Same bed actually. Which is great, but I’m not looking forward to moving and having to go through the separating the three of us again. Miriam has been my training program this winter. There have been intense efforts, lots of shouting, some tears, and lots of measurable progress. And war stories. So many war stories.
My favourite being this one. Stay with me here, it’s a good one.
Moving house for the 2nd time in a month, I’d hired a zipcar and driven backwards and forwards from Tooting to West Norwood. Starting at 730 and finishing at 12. And then starting again at 2ish and finishing at 4ish, with the pressure of getting the car back at 6.
We needed food for the week. We had a car.
LET’S GO TO BIG TESCO AT 4!!!
IT’LL BE FUN!!!
We knew what we needed, we could do this. In, out, gone. Done. Car back. Right?
We didn’t have £1 for the trolley. Miriam ran Alex and I ragged in 15 minutes. I went and got cash, got some change, got a trolley. I found Alex in the cheese and cooked meat area. Miriam was pushing a basket across the floor. I was distracted by a giant sausage roll.
We tried to have a conversation about what to do next. Miriam grabbed a magazine and wanted to play with the toy on the front. Alex proclaimed she wasn’t sure what we were doing here anymore.
“We’re buying fucking food!”
*wobbly head gestures*
*wild arm gesticulations”
*wobbly head gestures*
*wild arm gesticulations*
*looking at both of us*
“everyone calm down”
That brought the house down. We got her in the trolley, ran round quickly and got out of BIG TESCO.
So yeah. Bikes 0 Family 23.