Please don’t give my bike parking space away!

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.

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4 thoughts on “Please don’t give my bike parking space away!

  1. Glad to hear you’re getting over it.
    Don’t worry–it’s never as hard to get back on as you think it’s going to be! You’ll be back to full fitness before you know it.
    Mind you, I admire your motivation to make fresh start in the face of an approaching winter–plenty of people would say bugger it and leave it until spring!

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  2. MC Hammer circa 1987… That would be one of those “before they were famous” things wouldn’t it?
    What did MC Hammer say to his creditors when he went bankrupt?
    “You can’t touch this!”.
    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. Just be realistic in your expectations when you get back on the bike, and don’t get depressed if you don’t seem as fit as you “should” be at first. You’ve been through a nasty illness, and it will take time.

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  3. Six miles to work? That’s pretty good going! That makes your daily return journey a half-marathon! Even if you only cycle four days out of five, that’s still two marathons a week!
    Get someone – a professional if possible – to give your bike a full service before you re-start, and it’ll be easier and more enjoyable. Like cycling on clouds.

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  4. Dear me, I’ve been a bit lax on the responding to comments on this blog. Sorry about that.
    Treadly & Me, if the road to hell is paved with good intentions then Lucifer will be eagerly awaiting my arrival. As of last week, I think I could comfortably ride my bike, but I’m such a lazy bugger that whenever I get up in the morning and see how cold and dark and miserable it is outside I snuggle back under the duvet and tell myself, “maybe I’ll start cycling tomorrow”. Realistically, it will be the New Year before I get back in the saddle.
    Chris L, thanks for the advice. I’m not expecting to be back to match fitness straight away but I think it should be OK. I’ve found in the past when I’ve taken a break (not quite as long as this one, mind) that it only takes a couple of days and I’m back to normal.
    David, I love the idea that I do two marathons a week!! Six miles isn’t really that far, but it’s a comfortable 35 minute journey, which is pretty much the same amount of time it takes me to travel to work by tube. Plus, I’m not at the mercy of signal problems, leaves on the line, over-running engineering works, staff shortages, someone under a train and god knows what other excuses London Underground come up with for delivering such a poor service day in, day out! And yes, you’re right about getting my bike checked over. That’ll be T’s job — he’s the one who fixes my punctures, my brakes and so on.

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