Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Bryan and the Bike

Bryan being a MAMIL.
I may have mentioned that Bryan has taken up cycling. Actually I might not have. I can’t keep up with what is revealed on Facebook, tweets, email or blogging. Social media in all its glory.

Bryan is always keen to do sporty related things with others. He certainly does not get to do them with me, sporting things that is. He had been finding playing squash less easy, he almost always gets beaten by most of the people he plays against. At this point it is only fair to state that everything I am saying here is entirely based on assumptions I have made. Very little comes from the horse’s mouth. Why would I actually talk to Bryan about why he does what he does with regards to sports? I think I am jolly sporting (get it) to wish him well in his pursuits and often say things like “Go get ‘em dude” as he leave the house on his various sporting excursions. When he comes back I usually ask how it went. I ask “Did you win darling?” This is how I know, that when it comes to squash, he does not win all that often. I think another reason that he has been off squash is that he spends more time injured than he does playing on account of having utterly big girl blouse, princess and the pea, knees and ankles. He has the hocks and fetlocks of a thoroughbred - delicate and pretty but not much use for the manly business of running about a squash court.

My Man has been cycling now for the better part of a year. He was coaxed into the idea by his work colleagues in a subtle wooing. Bryan's work buddies, not content with suffering solitarily (an adverb I just made up), slowly convinced Bryan that he wanted to take up cycling. I am always very supportive of any endeavors that make it easier for me to know what to give Bryan for birthdays and Christmas. A quarter of a century of squash balls, sweat bands and racquet's as gifts testify to this. So last Christmas (that would be Christmas of 2013) I gave Bryan some cycling shorts (including over shorts, not those dreadful bright Lycra things cyclist tend to prefer, more on that later) and gloves and a water bottle. All this was to go with the bike he would, no doubt, need to buy to go with the kit. There is a limit to what I will be responsible for purchasing. I think a bike is one of those big ticket items that Bryan must choose for himself. Don't you?

A couple of months later and he was up before dawn several time a week, loading up his newly acquired, bottom of the range, bike into the Pajero...... because you can’t just ride around your neighborhood. No. No. No. You have to travel to a track to hell and gone far away from your house to ride a ridiculous distance only to then load up your bike and travel another long distance home. But hey, I am not judging.

He love it. He loves it so much that he sometimes gets up and goes off even though he has not arranged to meet a pal for a ride. If it was me the only thing that would get me up and out of bed at 4.30 ish in the morning would be that someone was relying on me for something, something important, like an organ donation. He loves it so much that he entered a big race the Spinneys Dubai 92 cycle challenge. This involved taking part in lots of smaller races to lead up to the big race building up his fitness and enthusiasm. Then in a stroke of bad luck when the time came for the Big One he was really not terribly well. He was “proper poorly” , full to the brim with flu. Not man flu, real flu. I begged him not to race. I had visions of my loved one dropping dead of a heart attack brought on by the virus reaching his heart and his body giving up because it had to multi task. You know men are no good at that. His immune system would give up under the pressure of fighting off the dreaded flu at the same time as his body was concentrating on cycling in the race. Two things at once “ARRAGH” man dies. He did not listen, he never does. He had a fantastic time and was very happy with how he did and was spurred on to more. The fact that his bad health lingered for almost a month..... well least said the better on that subject. I do have my nerves to consider. Actually no I am not going to leave off there. I asked him to "Please take a bit of a break, light of my life, song of my heart, and give your body a chance to get better." To no avail. But one word from his racing buddies about how" It might a good idea to take a bit of a break because sometimes that make a difference and you get well." had him resting up!!!!!!!!! I do not appreciate being usurped in this regard. It is my job to tell Bryan how to look after his health not a bunch of middle aged men with questionable fashion sense who should know not to step into "wife territory". And why is it when I do it called nagging and when THEY do it helpful advice? FUME. RANT. HISSY FIT.

Over the finishing line at the end of the race wearing Portable Shades sponsored MAMIL clothing.

Bryan's work ( and ex-work) Chums - men with a mission.
So, my life now involves Bryan waking me up at stupid times in the morning when he gets up to go cycling. My weekends are ruined because I know that I cannot loll about in bed for hours on a Friday morning. How bad do I look if Bryan comes home at 9.00 crack of dawn a.m. having just completed a 100km cycle? I ask you with tears being choked back. Is this fair? Is this how you treat someone you love?

And that is not the end of it. Oh no. When he gets back he is HUNGRY. And he wants to go out for breakfast. I have the self-disciple of an amoeba. The circumference of my hips is testament to this. There I will be on a Friday morning, happily reading my latest novel or catching up on Facebook whilst managing to be very strong about not having a rusk with my morning coffee and sticking to my rule about not eating in bed and I will hear Bryan arrive home. I then have to leap out of bed lest I am caught in it. Tripping as I stumble down the stairs in time to look like I have been nonchalantly holding up the wall beside the front door for hours as he comes through it. The first words out of his mouth are invariably "I am starving! Where shall we go for breakfast?" And that is the end of me.

The other thing that has happened is that he has become a MAMIL ( Middle AgedMan in Lycra). I did not see that coming. I really did not think My Bryan could sink that low. But he has. Happily. He struts about the house wearing his tight bottom padded shorts looking like a baby with a full nappy. Again I ask what have I done to deserve this?

What a MAMIL looks like.

 Then there are the accessories. Oh my word. There are all sorts of clips and buckles on Bryan’s bike. I am sure it is the same with the rest of the rejuvenated 40year old plus men that ride. It makes me bloody laugh. Foolish looking helmets and tight ( not to mention bright) LYCRA that would have disco Barbie envious all in the name of a more aerodynamic performance and then blowing that theory out of the water are the accessories that go on the bike. A pouch for this and a pouch for god knows what. A water bottle here and a water bottle there. A light at the front, a light at the back. A GPS. A heart monitor attached to the GPS that links into a dynamo that powers up the light. Well maybe not quite that, but you know where I am going right? Aerodynamic my arse. Well their arses - peeking cheekily out of the back of their shorts as their tight tops part ways with their tight shorts. You can imagine how lovely that all is.

In Bryan's defence. He is looking well for it. Silly gear and all. He is feeling good. The main reason why I did not take up cycling with Bryan was the ridiculous size of the seats, (and the early getting up time and the heat in summer and the cold in winter and the time it takes.........) I did not think it would be good for my ego to have my large posterior engulfing the silly saddle. My saddle has not gotten any smaller in the last year. The opposite actually so for all my teasing and harrumphing I am happy for Bryan and maybe a little envious. Maybe I need to suck in my tummy, ooze myself into some leggings and squeeze tight my butt and get on a bike. Or not......

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