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Man turns ‘cycling fanatic’ after heart attack – then spends his ‘rides’ in the pub

Concerned wife asks newspaper's agony aunt how to broach subject after uncovering husband's secret...

A woman in Ireland has written to a newspaper’s agony aunt to ask for advice about how to approach her husband after discovering that his daily bike rides were a cover for popping down the pub for a lunchtime session and a meal.

The anonymous woman wrote to an advice column in The Irish Times to say that her husband has undergone a series of operations following a heart attack around two years ago, and was ordered by doctors to change his lifestyle.

He gave up smoking and took early retirement from what his wife described as a “very stressful” job, then “in order to improve his cardiac function he purchased a very expensive bicycle and spent months planning cycling routes.

“He was never really a big fan of exercise, so I was delighted by this and have actively encouraged him,” she wrote.

“Each evening he informs me he has cycled for over two hours and impresses me with the distance he has travelled. I make a healthy dinner and run the bath for him and sometimes rub his aching muscles.

“He has been disappointed that this new regime has not yet impacted on his waistline.”

It turns out there was a good reason for that - he would pedal just a couple of miles to a local pub for a few pints and a meal.

“Recently during a Sunday lunch at a bar two miles from our house, a waitress seemed to be very familiar with my husband,” the woman continued.

“While I hate spying on him, I discreetly asked her how she knew him. She said that he comes into the bar most days in his cycling gear for a few pints and a full lunch.”

The author of the letter continued: “I am very angry with him, as I am not sure who he thinks that he is fooling by concocting such a convoluted story about his athletic achievements and improved dietary regime.”

She added that she had never been aware of her husband having lied to her before and that she is worried about his health, but does not know how to approach him about it.

“If he doesn’t do more, then it is very likely that he will have a second heart attack,” she concluded.

Advice columnist Trish Murphy concluded her reply, which you can read here, with the words: “Have faith and patience as the road to fitness and weight loss is long and slow with many detours along the way.

Recently, we reported on another case of cycling-induced marital strife – this one from Turkey, where a woman was seeking a divorce from her husband because of what she described as his “obsession” with his bicycle.

> Woman in Turkey seeks divorce over husband's bicycle ‘obsession’

Filing her complaint, she said: "My husband always spends time with his bicycle. He has a different kind of a bond with it."

She added: "This is not an ordinary attachment, he is literally in love with the bike."

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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