The last time I owned a bike, so far as I remember, was when I was 18. That means we're talking 44 year ago. I've had the use of other people's bikes from time to time but, even then, the last time was in 2007. So, today, was quite momentous - I bought a bike. I bought it second hand and I didn't worry too much about the quality because, chances are, I'll never use it.
I have no illusions about bikes. They're an efficient method of getting around but the motive power is muscle and that means that they require more effort than driving a car. My thinking is that if I actually use it as a way or getting in and out of Pinoso from Culebrón then I can look around for something better later. As it is the cheap Carrefour bike will do. It looked a bit small to me but the inside leg measurement seemed about right, it went, it stopped, what more could I ask? I handed over my cash.
So, I abandoned the car outside the seller's house and saddled up. Casas de Juan Blanco is 7kms from Culebrón. I now know that a stiff headwind blows perpetually from Culebrón to Juan Blanco. I had not realised, before today that all 7 kms is uphill too. I had to stop several times to pant heavily but I did, at least, ride all the way. When I reached home and got off the bike my legs almost gave way and I flopped in to one of our garden chairs where I spent the next five minutes coughing and breathing like someone denied their inhaler. There was also a bit of a problem in the bottom area.
It's just over an hour later. I'm still breathing stentoriously and my legs aren't right. And Gareth Bale has just put the Welsh ahead! Things are not as they should be.
Ah there's the equaliser from England.