Monday, May 12, 2008
Failure of 52-year-old legs during pushbike odyssey
James (17 this month), whose infatuation with carbon-fibre-forked racing bicycles has lapsed of late, decided yesterday to take the Revolution Continental out for a spin. Foolishly, I agreed to accompany him on the trusty Orbit for the 15-mile thrash up to the Eshaness lighthouse and back.
The weather was fantastic (again; in the words of Alistair Reid's wondrous poem Scotland, we'll pay for it, we'll pay for it)and initially I was content to lead the way, my SPD cleats working, I thought, well, and James's computer-game-induced unfitness telling. Until he stood up on his pedals and effortlessly surged away from me on his much more limited racing ratios, grumbling that he couldn't actually ride this slowly.
And it got worse. I don't remember the last rise to the lighthouse being that steep. It reminded me of some of those dreadful hills on the Fife side of the River Tay, or on the Carradale road: heart breaking. Or in my case, leg-defeating. I had to get off and walk, cleats or no cleats. Oh, the shame of it!
Never mind. We stoked up on coffee and cake at the Breiwick Cafe and I made it home without further pedestrianisation. Back to the motorbike!