Off we set this morning, Nora and myself, for our weekly summer cycling adventure, full of confidence and with the adrenaline pumping. We were feeling so cocky after surviving the first three cycles, that we decided to actually go outside the county bounds on this trip. ‘There’s a level stretch of road all the way from Castleisland to Ballyseedy Garden Centre, on the outskirts of Tralee,’ says Nora ‘and it’s only ten or twenty kilometres, we should be well able for it.’
Well, I have to say that woman would sell freezers to the Eskimos because before I knew it, she had it all planned and ’twas too far too late for me to say that there’s a big difference between ten kilometres and twenty kilometres, and was she sure we’d survive the trek without ending up in Tralee General Hospital? I mean, I’d have sounded like a right wimp and anyway, there’s no stopping Nora, once she’s her mind made up about something. So I closed my mouth again and saved my breath for the ten or twenty kilometres cycle into Tralee.
So this morning at the crack of dawn, well ok, 11am, we’ve only to throw up the two bikes, on the bike carrier at the back of Nora’s car and we’re ready for off. Well, in theory, that’s what was supposed to happen. But that was without taking the complications of the bike carrier into account. I was under the impression that these things were supposed to make life easier for people. Well, that’s what Nora said anyway. But not a bit of it.
But what fecking sadist invented the bike carrier and why did he have to make it so bloody complicated! Just how long do you think it took two women, both with a third level qualification, to work out the conondrum, of how to position the bikes on top of that bloody contraption safely, so that it wouldn’t be a death trap to the poor innocents driving behind us?
Well, suffice to say, it seemed like half the bloody morning. We were pushing and hoisting, and gasping and pulling, for what seemed like hours. I was mortified, I mean, fair enough, if we were in the privacy of my back garden, I wouldn’t have minded looking ridiculous, but we were in full view of the neighbours(mine) They, honestly, would have been forgiven for thinking that we were having a workout in a mobile gym, with the amount of grunting and groaning and hand signals and swearing, that were going on from behind the car. I know they’re already talking about the state of my mental and physical health from the first cycle, and to see me behind the car, playing some sort of game with a bicycle is going to do nothing to improve my reputation, that much is pretty obvious.
So there was my bould Nora, holding half a dozen elastic ties in her hands and she not having a bull’s notion what she was supposed to do with them. To be fair now, I will admit that I was no help at all, because my arms were only breaking from trying to hold up the bicycle, while Nora tried to figure out what to do with the elasticated ties. Finally, someone Up There must have taken pity on us, because one of my neighbours emerged, and in an embarrassingly short period of time, the bikes were on the carrier, the ties were no longer in Nora’s hands and I could, at long last, free my breaking arms, without the bicycle falling down on top of my head, rendering me totally brainless.
By the time the two of us were inside in the car, ready for off, I was fit to crawl back into bed again, after first putting a generous dollop of arnica on my broken arms. But Nora wouldn’t hear of quitting. You know, I think in a previous life, Nora might have been a Jesuit missionary.
To be continued.