Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Balearic biking

How joyful to be back in the sunny UK after a week in Mallorca, a concentrated blend of intense physical exertion balanced with excessive consumption of fine food and wine, leavened with a very light sprinkling of passivity and contemplation, so, much like a normal week in the UK but sunnier and more expensive.

Photos/video will follow but noteworthy thoughts include how deceptive the phrase "we'll go for a bike ride" can be...

Woken at 04:30 by an insomniac chum preparing isotonic vital fluid replacements, energy bars, painkillers and a cpr machine, and then, since he'd run out of things to do, seemed, to my sleepy ears to be hoovering the apartment, re-plastering the patio and servicing the hire car until 06:30 when he tippy-toed, light as thistledown to my door to whisper at 320 decibels "are you awake?" Ah the delicious irony.

Slipping my shot-putter's physique into a lycra outfit which would be snug on a 12 year old gymnast and setting off into the dawn, much to the amazement of the occasional bleary eyed goat and the amusement of the lithe young Mallorcan cyclists who think that shaving your legs is a sensible thing to do and that an old man in a lycra straitjacket having a seizure is funny.
What a twisted world this is...
mind you they might have been amused that through a packing error I was wearing ChaCha's cycle helmet rather than my own, I had managed to get the straps to fit but in the event of an accident I had to make sure I landed almost vertically and headfirst to gain any protection.

Panting, in the very lowest gear, for an hour, slower than an arthritic sloth, through stunning scenery, from sea level up a series of hairpin bends to around an awe inspiring 500 metres then hammering down t'other side, more (and tighter) hairpins, knuckles white on the brakes, imagination and vertigo running full tilt, visualising myself spread widely across some admittedly beautiful scenery. The benefit of wearing a heart rate monitor came home to me on discovering that although I'd put some serious strain on the old ticker through lung and leg exertion going up the hill I was recording similar levels of cardiac stress going down, despite an almost total absence of pedaling.

However I have to admit to an enormous sense of achievement on reaching the summit and I do do need to thank James ("the cafe, is just around the next corner , honestly") for, despite my profanities it was well worth the effort.

Coming soon, the Mallorcan approach to dive safety - "remember where the boat is, see you later"


At 1:38 pm, Blogger Tim O'Leary said...

Swit swoooo ;) - nice post, sounds like a fun break away!

At 5:58 pm, Blogger Tim O'Leary said...

I'm half thinking about flagging your blog for objectionable content - there has to be something illegal about you in Lycra!! ;)

At 4:32 pm, Blogger MarkMcL said...

Nice lycra, shame about the sponsor eh, what?


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