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  1. I Like To Ride My Bicycle

    Sunday, 9 May 2010

    I know I can't speak for everyone over here, but I have found the last few days in the UK to be extremely stressful. So it was a real treat to go down to the river today to help celebrate my friend Anna's birthday.

    I don't know if I'm the only person this has ever happened to, but I never really learned to ride a bicycle as a child. Shocking, I know.I kind of taught myself, but when I outgrew the bike I had at that point, I never got another. But shortly before I was diagnosed, I bought myself a second hand bike, and was determined to learn how to ride it. Andrew has been teaching me - something I'm sure he regrets doing. I'm not a fast or patient learner, it turns out! It also seems that the old adage isn't true - you do forget the basics, as falling off a bunch of times, and nearly riding into walls, trees, the river and people has shown me. 
    Well, I haven't been 'riding' in about a year, since about this time last year I was pretty distracted with diagnosis, and Stage Managing Shrew in the summer. Then winter came, and it was long. I wasn't overly inspired to go out and continue learning in that sort of weather. So being as I was so rubbish generally, I was surprised that, when I suggested we cycled down to Anna's party, I was actually not too bad! Until I tried to gracefully duck under some bunting when we got there, drove into the back wheel of Andrew's bike, and came right off. Graceful, no?

    That besides, since this was picnic food, I decided to take a different approach than normal. As you generally want to graze, rather than pick all your food out at once in this sort of environment (or at least, I know I do), I thought I would try eating first, injecting later. I did go a bit carb crazy, I have to admit. Bread with brie, some cookies, some pringles, mini scones. Very naughty, and I was expecting at least a double figure score. But scores came in at 7.5mmol/l. Huh...that was weird. I tested a few more times, and when I got home, and I didn't go above 8.9mmol/l (160 mg/dl) My only conclusion is that I must have burned off a lot more energy cycling than I'd anticipated.

    Anyway, it was warm and sunny for the most part, and everyone seemed to have fun. We saluted all the boats going down the river, to see how many we could get to do the same. My personal favourite was the person who sang back at us. That was great fun. Inspired by others doing the same, I also decided to attempt something else that I'd not tried before - climbing trees. 

    I was not good at this either. I've mentioned before that I'm not really ladylike. But all the same, the lack of grace with which this was accomplished was quite extraordinary. Andrew ended up climbing the same tree in advance, whilst our friend Ivan helped me by letting me get up on his shoulders. Like I say, graceful. Getting down was easier, but as Andrew pointed out, gravity does work in your favour that way.

    We also raced paper boats up the river. I managed to pick the only one with a giant tear in it. So I dubbed it the Titanic. How surprising that it should then go on to win the race.

    We cycled back home, which felt a much bigger effort than getting there had. But rounding off this rather lovely, relaxed day is drinking some hot chocolate and watching Elf on DVD. Scores have all been good today. Sometimes you just need a day off.

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