The return of my MAMIL from his London – Paris cycle
Bikerboy returned home in one piece, my own MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra). And we have been subjected to intense minute detail of the trip on a daily basis. He manages to weave whatever conversation we’re having back to his trip. I’ve written here the reason why he threw himself this challenge and the charity he supported. He came back in an euphoric state, his sense of achievement was immense.
There were personal emotional ups and downs in the four day trip, the defying and apply named “windy Thursday” with 75km headwinds. Now this day can not be mentioned without the word “epic” attached to it, “we HAD to cycle downhill!” he’ll add.
What I had feared would happen did happen, within his cycle clan he turned the trip into a competition, something which he’ll tell you he has no control over. Having lived with him for 10 years I can say that is true, he can’t help it.
Bikerboy on the left.
It wasn’t enough for him to make the trip, his aim was to be in one of the fast groups which came at the cost of his achilles’ heel. Dosed with painkillers from the third day onwards to bear the pain, his group were first to arrive in Paris. He has been receiving physiotherapy for his swollen achilles tendon ever since.
Weeks on, the irritated body parts have settled and are healing well. What appeared to be the hardest adjustment was coming down from that high, the high of executing the challenged better than he ever expected, pushing himself physically to limits he never thought he would, the sense of community that comes from sharing the adversities and subsequent camaraderie that was formed with his group are all very much missed.
Arriving in Paris burst the exaggerated living bubble they were forced into. Everything had been organised for them, from not having to check-in into hotels to the organised water stops and the well catered lunches on the road. They did not have to think about anything, their bikes were taken from them at the end of the day and handed back in the morning. Their sole concern was to ride to the next stop.
He came back and a sense of feeling adrift set in for a while. He was happy to have experienced the trip but he also knows that no other cycling challenge he sets himself next would ever surpass the unique experience of being that first time.