Friday, 12 November 2010

The stuff

Don't fall over in shock. I know it's very rare that I put pen to paper (or fingers to plastic, whatever your preference) twice in the same week. But lugging the new bike into my boot on Wednesday night made me think about all the other weird stuff that I have had to take delivery of because of OH's life's work. And that got me thinking about the amount of paraphernalia one actually needs to 'do' triathlon. However, now I'm typing I'm beginning to wonder how interesting this is actually going to be - potentially it could just turn into a list of items - which would quite honestly be a bit crap. So I will endeavour to make it a bit more than that, but as usual would appreciate your patience as I get my ramblings written down and out of my system.

Firstly, a bit of background. Due to my working in the 'burbs, and OH being a city boy, we always get stuff delivered to my office as it's easier for me to wrestle items into my boot than have OH man-handle them onto the train with him (the other commuters would not approve, you know how they are, if you even bring a slightly bigger bag than normal you get ostracised from the commuting fraternity).

The people in my office are used to me getting deliveries so no real worries there. 6ft mirror for our living room; the Mad Boy Boomer aka our new karaoke machine; 10ft rug and underlay; hosepipe; lawnmower (it was a challenge getting that in the boot I'll tell you, a nice man from the pizza place next door to the office had to leap over the wall and help me with that one); plus the countless CDs and DVDs and books and clothes and day-to-day what not. But these are all pretty normal items (if not a bit bulky). When the first boxes of organic beetroot juice started arriving on a regular basis, people's eyebrows were raised and without saying a word I could see them thinking 'that must really make your pee purple' - let alone ' that sounds absolutely vile'. And they would be right. OH drinks it every day and whilst it makes him look like Dracula, he swears by it.

Of course there is lots and lots of kit. Recent items would be those outersock things that go over his bike shoes to keep his little feet warm on winter cycle trips. And those things that are essentially leg warmers but for arms (to keep his little arms warm on winter cycle trips). And the GB onezee - much laughter as my boss tried to squeeze into it. And the 2nd onezee (in case he ruined the first one), and then the 3rd onezee (in case he got caught in a freak mud-based accident and ruined the second one). No one was really that bothered by the whole 'GB kit' by the time that arrived (along with the zip up top, polo shirt, splash get the picture). Obviously cycling shorts themselves cause much hilarity, drawing comparisons with nappies and incontinence wear (although when they all saw the teeny tiny nature of the saddle on Wednesday, I think it became clear why OH stocks up on the aforementioned shorts). Thermal underwear, gloves, shoes, trainers, bike shoes, pedals, wheels, inner tubes, oil, Muck Off, that pink powdery stuff that goes in squash, Maxi Muscle (this makes me laugh every time), gel pouch things, elastic laces, GPS, heart rate get the idea. But this really is just turning into a list so I am going to halt it there.

You think girls are addicted to internet shopping? Trying living with a triathlete.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The new arrival

The title of this blog might suggest that I was talking about the arrival of a new baby. I'm not, in the strictest sense, although I might as well be. At my office today I have officially taken delivery of the most recent addition to our family: OH's new bike. I know, I know, another bike? It's a bit of a shock to us all. It's not like OH to make rash decisions which involve money (or any rash decisions, really, it normally takes him two weeks to decide what socks to wear), but in the time between my last post and this, he has sourced it and bought it.

He is delighted. I parked it in the middle of the hallway tonight so he could see it as soon as he got home. In fact, he spied it sooner than that as he pressed his face to the glass in the front door to have a peek before I could even get there to answer the bell. Bobbing up and down on the front step like he needed the loo, he bounded past me as soon as there was a crack in the doorway: "she's here!" he shouted. The proud father indeed. Straight away he was making the weird YouTube bike hardcore trance music sounds - I'm sure these constantly play is his head when perving over his bikes but it's not often it gets vocalised (thank goodness). Still in his city-gent coat he pulls it gently out of the box, cooing and aarhing, stroking and caressing, with whispers of 'there she is', 'look at this beauty', 'feel the weight of that' etc etc etc. I'm sure you can imagine (or maybe not? I don't know if all boys are like this around new bikes.)

Maybe they are. Perhaps not quite to the extent that OH is - but certainly there was a frisson of excitement amoungst a few of the boys in the office today. I had lots of questions from them: actually now I think of it many were similar to the loving comments OH was making. What's the weight? Will he use it for training? What make is it? What's the cost? This was the most common question. Let's just say they were silenced when I told them the answer. I happen to agree that it's not right for that amount of money to be spent on a lump of carbon unless it happens to take the form of a whacking great diamond positioned on my engagement finger.

But back to this evening. The most important decision to be made? What to call her. The TT is a boy (he is called Pacman on the basis that he gobbles up the competition like - you guessed it - Pacman). New bike obviously needs a girly name, with her more subtle black with white finish and only the occasional flirtation with a red flourish. I hope I'm not holding you in suspense about the name. We haven't decided one yet so I can't put you out of your misery. All I can say is that I hope OH isn't expecting that she will have her own room. We are going to run out of spare bedrooms. I'm also worried about the fact that I am now referring to this item, which will inevitably move me down the rankings in OH's affections, as a 'her'. It's ridiculous. Although I would be quite happy if Pacman and Lady Bike mated and produced mini-bikes which took the form of the latest models. That would save us a fortune.

As we acquire more and more of the dual-wheeled mobiles, I am surprised to find that I am actually learning more about them than I thought. I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad about this realisation. Take the quiz OH sprung on me tonight as he was dancing around with Lady Bike in his arms in a way which would make Anton du Beke and Anne Widdy proud. It's called 'what is the make' quiz:

OH: Who is the frame by?
Me: This is easy, it's written all over it - Cervelo
OH: And who makes the groupset?
Me: (Yes, I do know what a groupset is). Sram?
OH: No - guess again
Me: I think there is only one other main one - so it has to be Shimano. And something to do with Ace? Dura Ace.
OH: Handlebars?
Me: 3T Brezza? (I know this is wrong because these are now illegal for racing, but it's a test)
OH: (Repeats what I am thinking in brackets above)
Me: Well they must be 3T - that's what they've got written on them
OH: I'm so proud of you!
Me: (Probably even more so than on my graduation day? The day I got my first job? The day I went on stage dressed as a whore? That's a whole other story and not as bad as it sounds: think University Am Dram)

But it's made OH very, very happy. And a happy OH means a happy me. Using the situation to my best advantage I have decided not to bother cooking proper tea (we're having pizza when the Sainsbury's man delivers it in about 3 minutes). Normally he would have been whining about how he's a growing man and needs a full on dinner. But tonight, in his deliriously heightened state of New Love, he doesn't give a frik. And so I'm free to watch rubbish tele and do some online shopping when typically I would have been slaving over a hot oven. Rock on.