Local Motion

It’s great to be locked down here in paradise, but it’s still a viral pandemic lockdown, and the current normal requires some getting used to. My exercise routine, which turns out to be a pretty important ingredient in my recipe for a sunny disposition, has been hit hard.

After they closed my gym and outlawed swimming, I still had running and cycling. But after a few short runs my gammy knee made its position known: nope. And then we had a few days of wind and rain that kept me off the bike.

Wednesday night we watched an inspiring documentary called One Day Ahead, about a group of New Zealanders who rode the entire 2018 Tour de France route one day ahead of the actual race. That’s epic mileage for a regular guy and it made for a good story. I was already itchy to get out, and the film pushed me over the edge. I woke up early Thursday and prepared to hit the road.

Only to find a worrying split in the sidewall of my back tire. Given the lockdown, there’s no way I could risk a shredded tire. Back inside to a particularly full day of work. Grrrr. Can’t get a new tyre till next week sometime.

Yesterday’s NYT had a story about people who make Strava pictures… running or cycling in a particular pattern so the GPS trace makes a picture or says something. The author is also locked down in paradise, Provence, but is under strict requirements to stay within 1km of home.

If they could work out, AND get a piece published in The Times, surely I could get off my butt somehow?!?

The Eureka bulb in my head lit up… not sure why I couldn’t have figured this out on Thursday morning but I didn’t… it turns out you don’t have to ride your bike in a long straight line. I just finished a very satisfying workout on the hills within a kilometer of home, and if my tire had blown out I could have easily walked back. The tire, of course, was fine.

After that tough hill intervals session I will feel a lot more relaxed about the Prosecco and pâté we are opening to celebrate finishing our taxes.

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