Friday, 10 August 2012

101 uses for an injured cyclist - Part 2

Items 51-101.

So, my cyclist is damaged, but he's on the mend.  He's hoofing round the place like a wet weekend in Bognor Regis and my sympathy (in very short supply at the best of times) ran out weeks ago.  What's a girl to do with him?  Here's the run-down, numbers 51-101.

51.   Race commentator.  His operation was on the first day of the Tour de France, which at least meant he had something to occupy him while he got over the worst of it.
52.   Cycling oracle.  He called the TdF in pretty emphatic style, and did the same on the Olympic RR and TT.  We'll be doing a prediction for the Vuelta.

Things to do with a broken cyclist at the shops
53.   Local bike shop expert.  He was always an enthusiastic amateur, but his recent cycling hiatus has allowed him to really put the hours in here.
54.   Womenswear shopping companion.  'Does my bum look big in this?' Bored tone 'Yes.' Sucks everything in "What about now?' Bored tone 'Yes. No. Whatever.'
55.   Fashion guru.  It was almost worth it all to see his expression in Topshop. 'What. The. FUCK? How does that even go on?'
56.   Shoe fetishist.  The cyclist does love shoes.  Most recent proud purchases include a new pair of Bont cycling shoes and a pair of wasabi-green Clarks Wallabees.  They are nicer than they sound, honest.
57.   Holder of things.  He particularly likes it when I ask him to hold my handbag while I try something on. That's absolutely his favourite.
58.   Adorably patient and thoughtful person.  Most recently demonstrated when I had a massive geek-out in Forbidden Planet for absolutely ages and he just stood there and let me get on with it, looking slightly bemused at my sudden all consuming need for a Liquid Metal T-1000 figurine (which even he had to admit was pretty cool) and the Before Watchmen Comedian mini series.
59.   Coffee shop lover.  The sense of relief when it's all over and the poor put upon man finally gets a flat white in his hand...

The prospect of much more shopping sent him scuttling in desperation back to the turbo.  Which brings us to...

Things to do with a cyclist on a Turbo.
60.   Human Dynamo - I'm sure we could run the telly/ computer/ washing machine etc. with jump leads set up from the turbo.
61.   Central heating source.  Ooh it gets warm when he's on that turbo.  Which is cool cos it's been another totally crap summer weather wise.
62.   Human sweat factory.  In case there was ever a huge and urgent requirement for vast amounts of human sweat on a tea towel draped over a top tube, we might just have this one covered.
63.   Payback.  Sprint intervals, darling?  Why of course I'll time you!  No, I'm absolutely sure that was 30 seconds! Snigger snigger snigger.
64.   Target.  Aim and time your throw of a balled up sock just right to unleash a barrage of swearing worthy of a standing ovation.
65.   Giant cat toy.  Attracted by the whirring, Mig is obsessed with trying to murder and disembowel the turbo trainer.

As you know, I finally have a bike to call my own.  And whether or not I actually wanted one, it would appear it came with a coach.  Quite a mean one, who's standard line is 'Do ..., or I'll poke you with a stick'.
66.   Sarcastic encourager. 'Are you going to actually ride that, or shall we just look at it?' 
67.   Saddle adjuster.  He seems to do this rather a lot while I'm on the bike.  Yes, thank you, you can move your hand now.
68.   Stem tilter.  That's an actual thing.
69.   Mechanic.  He is happy to do the required 'stuff' to my bike.  We are working on a 'Price list' - don't ask - and a loyalty card scheme.
70.   Bike washer.  Surprisingly willing to get soapy.
71.   Teacher - Oscar's stabilisers are finally off and the boy is two-wheeled!  And the cyclist didn't poke him with a stick once!
72.   Dietician.  Now he's at a point in his recovery where he faces the very real prospect of actually doing some proper training and racing again, he's gone from being a human dustbin to a borderline anorexic similar to his normal pre-season January state.
73.   Protein shake mixologist.
74.   Professional set-up consultant.  He keeps moving, changing and adjusting stuff on the bike set-up so I don't look like a rank newbie, which is kind of ironic given the second I get on the thing I give myself away horribly.
75.   Etiquette consultant.  I am slowly learning some of the unwritten rules of being a cyclist...
76.   Actual coaching.  This involves making me do things I really don't want to do, like intervals of my own (30 seconds my arse), and yelling if I object/ cry/ fall off.  I've also been told I use the word 'can't' too much!

Round the house.
DIYer.  To go with the cyclists lists that he created in phase 1 of the recovery period, I've been making him a few lists of my own, of all the little shitty things that need doing around the house now his weekends and evenings have opened up.  These are all things listed by the UN as specifically Men's Work.  For example..
77.   Spider removal and rehousing unit.
78.   Fly and wasp squasher.
79.   Putter up of shelves.  Kids room, kitchen, front room.  I do love a shelf.
80.   Changing lightbulbs.  We have very high ceilings and I am quite short.
81.   Dishwasher engineer.  Fix it man.  Fix it.
82.   Hanging pictures - yes I would be capable of doing this one myself, but I tend to be a little bit hammer happy and the cyclist actively prefers me not to merrily bang wonky holes in our walls.
83.   Designated remover of items both dead and alive supplied by the cat.  So far the sum total of the cat's hunting skills have resulted in the depositing at our feet of two leaves and a stick, but if he's anything like the last one this situation will develop to the point where it's a set of minute internal organs and a spine on the stairs in no time.  Squeam, thy name is Rebecca Love.

In the garden.
The garden is totally the domain of the cyclist.  I couldn't care any less for it - tarmac the lot as far as I'm concerned.  So it's down to the poor cyclist to stop our house being the one the rest of the street complain to the council about...
84.   Lawn mower.  The lawn situation had got so bad during the cyclist's heavy training and race schedule earlier in the season followed by the crash etc that he has actually sub-contracted this out.
85.   De-frogger of the lawn.  Occasionally a frog will appear in the garden, either dead or alive.  Now, when pushed I can deal with most things, but frogs do not come under the heading of most things.  I was once held hostage in the house for 6 hours by a frog on the front lawn while the cyclist was tackling the Strines; by the time he got home I was near hysterical and could only be heard by dogs.
86.   Trimmer of the bush.  Steady yourself, you filthy minded monkey, we're talking gardening - specifically the appallingly overgrown front hedge, which is now neat and tidy.
87.   Weeder.  I don't like weeds but will do nothing about them as a) they grow in dirt and b) there might be worms.

Husband and family man.
The kids adore their daddy.  Daddy is fun and cool and exciting, in stark contrast to mummy who couldn't be any more boring if she tried.
88.   Babysitter.  I've used the cyclist's free weekends to get a few road trips in.
89.   Doer of jigsaws.  The kids love doing jigsaws, but it usually involves them eventually moving back and project managing the installation once the edges have been completed.
90.   Climbing frame. 
91.   Comedian.  Seriously, some of the funniest things the cyclist has ever come up with has been in the last few weeks, prompted usually by the sport (TdF/ Olympics etc)
92.   Putter of the world to rights.  In much the same vein as the above.
93.   Tag team partner.  Thanks largely to the logistics of managing the school summer holidays there's been a bit of 'divide and conquer' required to organise the squids.
94.   Day tripper.  And somehow he always manages to squeeze in a stop off at a bike shop!
95.   Filler upper of water balloons.  On the rare occasions where some sun has presented itself the cyclist has retreated to the outdoor tap with a bucket and an adaptor to the kids absolute delight.
96.   Child referee.  Known to be a more reasonable and fairer arbitrator than mummy, who normally just yells something like 'You two are doing my HEAD in, you can BOTH go upstairs I don't want to hear another WORD', the kids are generally taking their issues to King Solomon daddy to be dealt with.
97.   ... Having a broken collarbone doesn't affect everything!
98.   Race marshall.  I was down to marshall at a race this Sunday, but the cyclist is taking it on seeing as he's not cleared to race yet.  I'm going along for shits and giggles - reports we're taking an arsenal of water pistols and soft fruit to throw to 'liven things up a bit' are totally unfounded.

For the rest of his life.
99.   Story teller.  Every time he tells the tale of the crash is a little different...
100.  Imagination mover. Who can come up with the best fictional back story for his rather impressive scar?
101.  Source of endless amusement / diversion at airports when he repeatedly sets the beepers off due to his new metal plate and is taken down by security.

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