First things first, I er need a bike.....oh and a helmet, water bottles and cages, lights, little computer thingy, spare inner tubes, puncture repair kits, those little plastic lever thingys and oh so much Lycra....really? Is there no other way?
So the bike was easy, borrowed from a kind friend and luckily the right size. The clothing however is another story! To windproof or waterproof, to compress or not to compress, to neon or not? Longs or shorts, sleeves or sleeveless, leg warmers, arm warmers, sunglasses - dark or light, socks-how many colours do they need to be?? How many layers, how thick or thin? British weather of course being extremely unhelpful on this front, it turns out you need pretty much all of the above! Who knew there could be so much involved?
Also, a couple of questions: Having been on a certain website looking for clothing, please can someone reassure me that I will never have to ride topless?? I mean those girls are brave, it's got to be cold out there some days and do they have to defy gravity by riding with one hand and covering with the other or do they just let them...hang out so to speak? Terrifying.
Secondly, can someone clarify why it is that the comfortable (and admittedly bottom saving) gel pad has to be attached to my butt rather than the seat of my bike? I know which option I would prefer and it's not the one that makes me look like I'm wearing a nappy...
And then of course the dreaded cleats....those have caused a lot of amusement to my sons and not a small amount of pain to me as I have practised at home. It has in fact been a bit of a recurring amusement and I'm still falling off occasionally, especially near the end of a long ride. Owwww, please tell me it will stop!
So, after literally hours on numerous websites deciding what shape, size, combination of layers and of course colours I think might be best, I have officially reached that cringeworthy next stage of 'all the gear and no idea'.
I'm ready....just please don't show these photos to any of my clients.....