Breaking plans for Nigel.

Today is obscure musical homage day. If anyone can correctly identify the band with a hit single almost entirely similar to the title of this post, a keepsake from my box marked pile of crap, remember to burn shall be summarily dispatched. To help you out there were the best best thing to come out of Swindon since the Honda Civic.

Admittedly a close third was the M4, but the fab three still enjoyed modest success while still living at home with their mums. We did finally manage to break my friend Nige last weekend in Swinley after he’d boffed a hundred and sixty off road miles in ten unbroken days. The previous four had accounted for about half of those and since in the winding forest singletrack every mile counts double, it was no surprise this was the final resting place for his legs.

Bit of a relief frankly; he’s finally free of the robotic host which sent him up hill and over dale while the rest of us had called it quits for beers. In lieu of post ride beers “ which lamentably do not form any part of the café menu at Swinley “ we instead gorged ourselves on high priced ice creams and conceit. It’s clearly fat people wearing Oakleys season already and stretched t-shirts fail to hide pregnant bellies while expensive sporty shades wobble atop jowelled cheeks.

I mean “ at nearly 40 “ there’s barely a man alive who doesn’t have the beginnings of middle English handles some label as love but are really beer and chips but surely being able to see your feet is not simply a lifestyle choice?

And with 200 miles bagged since April 1st, a certain sleekness of torso and tiredness of legs have manifested in some belt tightening for the man behind the hedgehog. That sounds almost as rude as I was hoping for. But since my dietary approach to exercise can be summarised as Time for a milkshake and chocy flapjack before the train is delayed?, a barely remembered hollowed out feeling did a Nigel on me trying to get home the other night.

The body is an amazing thing “ even one as abused as this example “ but the mind is even cleverer. While a fusillade of non maskable interrupts briskly instructed muscles to stop pedalling and begin hunting for food, what I’m charitably calling higher intelligence ordered them instead to adopt a rotational approach to foraging. Two miles and a small hill was all that separated an empty stomach and fading legs from an oasis of chocolate and energy recovery drink (clever branded under the Speckled Hen moniker).

But what a two miles that was, nothing really hurt but even less worked. Cars bullied me for the first time in ages because raising a heartbeat, my game or a smile was lost behind a desperate sweaty grimace hiding a broken man.

Even unclipping in sight of food was now beyond me, I shuffled the bike into the barn and inhaled two Nutrigrains while still attached to the bike. On reflection, I probably should have removed the packaging.

In the last three weeks, every bike I own “ (and that’s alot although this is in no way the same as too many) “ has been given a proper outing. Even the 38lb behemoth was dragged up to some illegal jump spot and given a proper thrashing until darkness claimed us some five miles from home. That ride back, chasing a mate with only a blinking LED for navigation, through bar wide forest bumping over invisible obstacles hidden under a blacked-out trail was about as much fun as you can have standing up.

And having spent most of the day juggling big drills, sledgehammers and the FreeRide Frisbee in a doomed attempt to extend the kids play fort, I feel I am speaking with some authority.

4 thoughts on “Breaking plans for Nigel.

  1. Jarl

    Making plans for nigel, by XTC.

    I need a new spoke after I snapped mine, if you’ve got more than half a spoke in your box I figure I can duck tape them together and mend my wheel.

  2. Inspector Faircop

    “To help you out there were the best best thing to come out of Swindon since the Honda Civic.”

    “How to win friends and influence people whilst blogging” – the forthcoming epic motivational business manual shortly to be realised by Mr A.Leigh

    (after I’ve done him over with my roadie pump that is)

  3. Alex

    Too late, the Aylesbury Preservation society have already threatened to get all middle-aged* on my arse.

    Nig – that’s my excuse and it’s patented along with “I’m not in the mood”, “I had a poor fish supper last night” and “A small insect landed on my bars and weighed me down, the bastard”. However I’ll let you have “my crank fell off” on the not unreasonable grounds that it’s true.

    New spoke in the post. Suggest superglue. Probably be ok 😉

    * they need to work on their threats. Lovely people but I blame the cardigans.

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