Summary of Christmas Week

I’ve been away for Christmas so I haven’t had as much exercise as I’d have liked, but I did what I could. Here’s a summary of what I got up to last week…

Tue 22nd: I did a brisk walk from home to Hebden Bridge station carrying a fairly heavy rucksack and a shoulder bag containing my laptop and miscellaneous books and other items. (I got a lift from the station in Coventry.)

Wed 23rd: I went for a stroll round some snow-covered fields with my sister, brother-in-law and their neighbours’ dog. About 30 minutes worth of wintry strolling.

My other sister had offered to buy me a track pump for Christmas so I went to Halfords in Coventry to pick up one. When I got there, I decided that a better option was to buy a mini-track pump which I could take out with me on rides. They had one for just under £20 and I’m quite impressed with it. I pumped my tyres up to a reasonable pressure without too much difficulty. It isn’t much bigger than the old pump it will be replacing.

Thu 24th: A quick ride up to visit my mother on my singlespeed bike. I discovered that I’d forgotten to bring the mounting bracket for my front light so I got a lift back with my niece that evening and left the bike at ma’s flat.

Fri 25th: I got a lift up with the family for a meal with my mother. Because it was being prepared by staff at the housing complex, we didn’t overeat the way that we traditionally do.

One sister and I took ma for a stroll in the local park. The rest of the family were driving away as we returned which was a slight problem because I had intended to ask them to carry my Christmas presents back for me. Never mind, it would be a good excuse to get more cycling in the next day…

I stayed in the guest room there overnight.

Sat 26th: A nice sunny day! Cold winds, but none of the snow and ice that people were experiencing both to the north and south of the West Midlands. I had breakfast with my mother, then filled what space was left in my rucksack with gifts and rode back to my sister’s house for lunch. Only 10 minutes or so, but hey, it beats messing about on buses or taking 45 minutes on foot.

After lunch, I rode back up to ma’s but I did a scenic detour via Wall Hill Lane to Corley Moor and back. That little ride was 10 miles.

In the evening I took the rest of my presents back in another 10 minute ride using a head torch tied to the handlebars as a front light.

Later on I did a brisk 10 minute walk to visit my local pal, and then another one back.

Sun 27th: Another sunny day, another crisp 10 mile ride via Corley to visit ma. Another 10 minute ride home in the evening.

Mon 28th: Yet another sunny, crisp 10 mile Corley ride eventually followed by the 10 minute ride back in the dark.

When I got to my destination, I was confronted by police road blocks at both ends of my sister’s street. Apparently a “serious assault” had taken place and I could see that an investigation was underway at the far end of the road. A young female police office standing by the ‘Police notice – do not cross this line’ tape allowed me through on the understanding that I went straight to my sister’s house and did not venture near to the crime scene. A sensible decision, thought I.

After a meal, I was due to go and visit my pal again so I left the house and headed away from the ongoing investigation towards the blue and white striped tape which was still fixed across the road. An older female police officer loomed out of the darkness…

(Bossy voice) “Oi – you are contaminating my crime scene!”

Here we go… Obviously someone who had watched too many episodes of CSI – Miami!

“Er, I’m walking away from it!”

“You shouldn’t be walking anywhere!”

“Nobody has told us anything about it so how are we supposed to know that?”

“Don’t get funny with me. Go back into the house that you’ve just come out of!”

“So, you are saying that every person in the street is effectively under house arrest until you decide to say otherwise?”


“Well, any ‘contaminating‘ that I would be doing has already been done so I might as well carry on. If I go back to the house now or after visiting my friend, there is no difference.”

“There is – if you cross this tape now and then try and cross it on the way home, I will arrest you!”

(Bloody Jobsworth! 👿 I felt a possible argument-followed-by-arrest-followed-by-good-kicking-in-the-police-cells scenario developing and decided not to go there!)

I went home, took my shoes and jacket off and had just sat down when I heard traffic moving outside. I opened the front door and saw the police cars and vans driving off – absolutely typical! Shoes and jacket back on, 10 minute stroll to pal, 10 minutes back again afterwards.

Tue 29th: (I caught a bus to Coventry station.) A stroll back from Hebden Bridge station weighed down by two bags bulging with what I’d taken down plus my Christmas presents.

Just another couple of days to go now… Some fairly restrained New Year festivities and then it’s down to some serious work in 2010 – flab to lose, fitness to gain, and money to earn!

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6 Responses to “Summary of Christmas Week”

  1. Hi Colin,
    I have to say you make the most mundane things in everyday life sound interesting,you never cease to amaze and inspire me with your motivation and positive attitude even in adversity ! great stuff.
    PS Cycle collection postponed for the moment due to the weather,far to dangerous to cycle! will collect later in the month.

  2. Hi Andy.

    Yeah, I was a bit peeved with that second policewoman. It was her total inflexibility and aggressive “Just do what I tell you to!” attitude that got me. I was over 50 yards from the scene of the attack and I’d already walked up and down that particular length of pavement twice and so had half the other people in the street who came out to see what was going on.

    You can’t collect your bike much later in the month than NY’s Eve – you mean next year! 😉

    I’m certainly not cycling when it is icy – the cycling forums are full of people reporting broken bones and broken bikes!

  3. Let the recent words of Fashion Queen Kate Moss be your mantra, Colin.

    ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’

    Not that I recommend a cocaine/alcohol diet but moderate diet and exercise.

  4. I read that quote at the time and it made me realise that I actually felt strangely vulnerable in 2001, when I was last skinny. I’m so used to being fat that it was quite unnerving to lose weight quickly and start feeling the cold again after years of being well-insulated. I looked gaunt and fragile, but I have to admit that my cycling was transformed. I don’t think that I want to go down to that kind of weight again (11 st 10 lbs, 164 lbs, 74 kg). Maybe somewhere in the range 12 st 4 lbs – 12 st 7 lbs (172 lbs – 175 lbs, 78 kg – 79.5 kg) would be a good compromise for me. I’d be pretty slim and able to cycle up hills respectably but I wouldn’t look like I had a terminal illness.

    Yes, using exercise to calm me down and de-stress would make more sense than self-medicating with beer. So would sorting out the problems that stress me out in the first place. Must try harder… 😕

  5. Yep, it’s definitely not worth risking any kind of injury trying to cycle in snowy or icy conditions. We haven’t been cycling at all in the UK for the last three weeks – unless you count laps at Manchester velodrome. We did manage 4 days of cycling in Mallorca over Christmas though – It was sunny and 23 degrees Celsius in Pollenca on Tuesday afternoon!

  6. Mallorca Christmas sunshine – sounds great!

    HNY to you and Mark (and anybody else who drops in to read this!). I hope that I’ll get the chance to cycle with you both again this year, but preferably when I’m fit enough to keep up! 😉

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