Well, I’m back at work, but not quite ready to ride the bike yet. Think it will take me a couple of weeks to return to full strength. This illness really knocked it out of me. The only plus is that it managed to achieve what a year of cycling hasn’t: I dropped a dress size in three weeks! I actually had to go shopping on Sunday for some new trousers, as I didn’t want to turn up to work looking like I was masquerading as MC Hammer circa 1987!
Anyway, yesterday I sorted through what seemed like a million e-mails in my inbox. As well as a bunch of spam, there were loads from contributors wanting to know whether I’d received their features, others wanting help with their commissions and a handful of complaints about this, that and the other. But the first email I replied to was from our in-house security department wanting to know whether I still wanted my bike parking space, or had I decided to stop riding over the winter?
The company I work for has secure undercover parking space for around 120 bikes. I had to wait six months before I got issued with a space and I have to say I value it very highly. It’s nice to know my bike’s secure (even though it’s so old and rusty I’m not sure anyone would want to steal it) and that my own personal safety’s not put at risk when I go to retrieve it at night. (There have been reports in the past of cyclists being mugged in the process of unlocking their bikes in neighbouring streets.)
Unfortunately, demand is so high for these spaces that the waiting list is more than six months long now, which means security are pretty eagle-eyed when it comes to noticing who’s using their parking space and who isn’t.
So, the first thing I did yesterday — f**k the commissions, the angry freelancers, my own editorial workload — was fire an e-mail right back saying I’d been unwell and that even though I probably wouldn’t be cycling for a few weeks yet I fully intended to cycle throughout the winter. Please don’t give my bike parking space away, I begged.
Luckily, I got a sympathetic response, something along the lines of "really sorry to hear you’ve been so poorly, of course we’ll save your bike space for you"!
Phew. Now all I have to do is concentrate on building my strength back up so that I can get back on that bike by Christmas. Mind you, I’m dreading how horribly unfit I will be. I’ve already noticed my rock-hard calves have turned to jelly, so god knows how I’ll cope riding six miles to work when I haven’t done it in so long. Only time will tell, I guess.