Trial by Group Cycling

It takes all the courage I have to walk into a room of strangers, even a small room, when wearing exercise gear… small rooms called Judges chambers when wearing a suit no problem… even a lecture room full of 20-60 year olds I can manage if I’m either attending or the one giving the lecture on an area where I am the expert… but a small room full of thin athletic people… no way José…

Yet here I am on Tuesday night walking into a small dark room with disco lights and introducing myself to an intimidating fit 20 something bloke with hairy arms and muscles all over.

He is very welcoming explains how to alter the seat and the handle bars and then nothing more because suddenly we are off…

And boy are we going at pace…everyone furiously pedalling whilst Mr A shouts instructions from the front I try to keep up with everyone else…except…

How am I meant to tell how fast I am going when I can’t turn the computer on… or possibly it is already is on only I can’t read it because its so bloomin’ dark… what’s that?  Up a gear, oh and now you want me stand up and pedal furiously at an even harder gear…

Standing up scares the pants off me, as do cages on bike pedals… I should have run out the door the moment lovely Hannah, who did the quick intro to the facilities before the trial session began, asked me if I had proper cycling shoes…

Mr A shouts at me to turn the pedals the other way up whilst at the same time calling to the group to ease off and take a drink… a nice (but annoyingly slim) lady next to me kindly jumps off her steed and quickly plops my feet where they are meant to be and adjusts the straps… hell now I am caught and truly stuck… no escape I am here for the next 30 minutes now

My knee is starting to ache, but it’s nothing compared to the pain that is developing in my crotch area… it’s not until you try someone else’s bike that you realise how much you take your own saddle for granted… I don’t want to stop, I’m embarrassed enough without making it worse by wimping out in front of these strangers.

Yes I am fat and unfit but I am not a quitter I can do this, I’m not in the business of handing people reasons to despise me on a plate… but I have no idea how much longer this will go on as there is no clock in the room and I still haven’t worked out how to turn the computer on… and I have no way of judging if I’m going fast enough except by comparing where my gear lever is in comparison to the bloke next to me and making sure I’m pedalling as fast  as he is…

Eventually I have to give up with the standing bits of the session otherwise I’m going to collapse and plant my face in the handlebars… I just  tried to keep up with the speed of everyone else… and then its over…I finished… god knows how and the sweat is pouring out of me… of course I had forgotten to bring a bottle of water with me… and everyone else had small handtowels…

That was sheer hell… yet as I fall out the door I shout see you next week


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