Three years ago, maybe four, I was given a bike for Christmas. I couldn’t tell you what make it is, what brakes it has or where the gears are from. It has the customary two wheels, a frame designed for a man (with the inconveniently placed central bar) and a seat designed as a long-term contraceptive. It seems neither a mountain bike nor a molehill bike, do I presume it is a hybrid – though not with an electric engine. I can confidently tell you it is silver. Perhaps grey. Fifty shades of it?
You see the thing is, I’ve never ridden it. Not once. It remains in my garage, stuck in a corner, not yet with the er, wheel thingies connected to the frame thingy. I vaguely remember trying to put it together once, but that involved tools… and thought. Two things that do not mix well in me.
So instead it has just sat. And sat and sat and sat. Untouched.
About the same time as I got the bike, my work gave me a corporate Lycra cycling costume. You know the ones: the funny pants that make you walk like you’ve pooped your pants and look like a kid’s balloon full of jelly. If there is anything less attractive than a MAMIL (for the uninitiated: Middle-Aged Man In Lycra), it is ME in Lycra. Trust me.
So that too has never been touched. It sits, as neatly folded as Lycra can sit, in the bottom drawer of my wardrobe. I may have put it on once, just to, er, see how bad it would look on me, but let’s keep that between us.
This week, I am getting out the bike, getting it together and getting on it. I don’t plan on driving anywhere anymore, unless I have to. Given that I have three kids of quite a young age, there will be lots of times when I simply do have to drive. But when it’s something for me, I’ll be on my bike.
But the Lycra? Well, I’d rather be nude by Christmas than in Lycra by Christmas. So you won’t be seeing me out in the street in it any time soon.
Check out my pics on this site, or on instagram @nudebychristmas, then thank me for my community service in staying Lycra virgin.