A good friend of mine succumbed recently to the cycling bug.
Having listened to me rattle on for years about the joys of heading out on a Sunday morning with a group of mates, riding fifty miles up hill and down dale, and generally swapping stories and larking about, he finally decided there might just be something in all this and splashed out on a new bike.
It’s fair to say, when he went into that bike shop he wasn’t messing around; we’re talking lightweight carbon-fibre frame, racing geometry and flashy Italian paint job. Being the friend I am, I felt duty bound to take him out for a gentle spin to christen the thing, so we waited for a warm sunny evening and headed out for a maiden voyage.
He started nervously, his high-end bike twitching beneath him like a performance sports car, but before long he had the measure of it and began to enjoy himself.
As we pedalled along I could see him glancing down admiringly at his new pride and joy, and mentally maxxing out the credit card shopping for all manner of cycling related kit to make sure he truly looked the part.
The plan was for a quick ride – just an hour or so to let him get a feel for the thing – but my friend was clearly enjoying himself (and I never need encouragement to stay out and ride), and so two and a half hours later, as the sun went down, we headed home; he rosy cheeked and pleased with his purchase, me silently congratulating myself on introducing yet another riding partner into the fold.
On reaching home my wife was waiting; phone in hand, eyebrows raised, and slightly mischievous grin on her face.
While we were out having fun, his wife had sent a text message to my wife that said, simply – ‘cycling widow’.
I have a feeling I might get the blame for this.