I haul the old machine from the shed, where it’s been resting for a few years.
I have not bicycled for ages and ages, having given up reluctantly due to my arse problem. But I am in the mood at present to get back onto all sorts of horses, and bicycling seems a good start.
Chuff. Chuff. Chuff. I chuff, huff and puff as I force myself up the gentle but long hill to the Village Shop. I feel the muscles in my legs working away, tightening, getting fitter with every thrust. Who is interested in owning an abusive Wii Fit when there is bicycling to be done on a sunny day?
I pick up my newspaper. The Village Shop Lady looks at me in some concern.
“Been bicycling,” I breathe, handing over my small change. This will make it easier on the way back, except I now have the weight of a newspaper to consider.
I retrieve the bicycle from the rack at the front of the shop and set off down the hill. Wheeeeeeeee!!! This is brilliant – the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, not having to pedal at all except a few thrusts to get me going and a couple of top-up pedals as I pass Eddie’s house. I realise that I have missed this feeling immensely. It occurs to me, as I sail down the hill towards the Cottage, that bicycling on a summer’s day is possibly the nicest, nicest occupation in the world.
I fall off my bicycle.
“Ow!” I say, as I mis-time a small stunt and fail to make the raised area beyond my driveway. “Aarrghhh!” as the bicycle disappears from underneath me.
I dust myself off, put the bicycle away crossly, and retrieve my newspaper from the ground.
I stomp in to the Cottage to sit down in an armchair. From across the room, the Wii gives me a sarcastic look.