Sunday, July 18, 2010

Extreme Cycling Class

I have completed my first extreme static cycling class. And I think I like it.

I was cornered on my way in to the gym by a clean, shiny and enthusiastically earnest instructor and so I decided to bite the bullet and finally have a go. I have avoided this for months but as I slipped onto a cycle in the back row and tried to blend into the wall, the very loud rock music and the intoxicating thrill of a challenge soon began to psych me up. And as the kind of girl who'll never take a front seat if the murky anonymity of the back row is available I soon began to feel secure and able to view the class from my almost hidden vantage point at the back of the trenches.

And then...all of a sudden...we were off.

I didn't exactly keep the speed levels up that all the others achieved but I did at least keep going. I pedalled hard when I was instructed, imagining the mountains whizzing by. I gripped the handles and took the bends like a pro, sweat spinning off at an angle as I skidded red-faced and hot across gritted tracks and swept down smooth and shaded wooded pathways. I stood up and cycled forward letting my arms take all the strain while they worked the handle-bars, driving them from side to side, as I rocked to the beat of the music which accompanied the journey. It was fantastically hard, then I looked at my watch and discovered that only 5 minutes had passed.

I had to focus even harder to get through the next 40 minutes of the session so I concentrated on the large and wobbly forms of the two women directly in front of me. Bottom on the left and Bottom on the right. There was also a tightly-knit trio, one female and two males, further to the left but they were obviously a well-maintained threesome who didn't encourage intruders on their patch. They were fast, tight and lean. The two bottoms and myself were floppy, panting and desperately trying to keep up. Hey we were even starting to feel like a gang! A gang of...erm...bottoms.

The left-hand bottom, Bottom 1, was clad in a totally unsuitable lacy g-string which was completely visible through her cycling shorts which had become diaphanous with age and stretch. They veritably ached across the vast expanse they were expected to cover. The covering for her top half, which was also gallantly stretched to beyond the call of duty, consisted of a selection of well-aged and thoroughly tenderised garments. They wearily crossed and re-crossed each other with a variety of strength and endurance and included some tortured looking bra-straps, a cropped vest, and, inexplicably, a halter-neck bikini top. Trying to mentally untangle this scene almost turned me cross-eyed. Like a Victorian conundrum, I went round and round in circles, searching for the beginning and end to each item of clothing. The whole of the left-hand view became a sort of Gordian knot of the extreme exercise garment world.

I eventually managed to follow the complicated macrame of stretched lace and well-used elastic pathways up hill and down dale as we collectively static-cycled our way across the country. And the view on the left, though stylistically busy and daunting, did actually keep me going, luring me ever closer to the finishing post. If complicated strappy get-ups could do it then so could I. And when I tired of the view I simply turned to Bottom 2, on the right. Bottom 2 was altogether a more comfortable set-up, as abundantly padded as our neighbour but reassuringly well-covered in an all-in-one stretchy black number which allowed the bulge from her back to ooze out of the top under her armpits in a satisfying overhang which neither offended nor screamed for attention.

All three of us struggled and strained and gasped our way through the class. But we made it. I grabbed my water bottle and gulped some life back into me but when I turned back to say goodbye to my team-mates they'd gone. And I thought we'd bonded.

The class was hugely enjoyable and I think I might be hooked. I'm going to try and fit in another one at some stage this week. And I must remember to get there early to get a seat in the back row...I'd just hate someone to be looking at my bottom.


My son is with his father for the week-end and my boyfriend is on the other side of the world.

And tonight I collect Master Cedric, a fat little Pug, who I have as a house guest for the week. His owner promises me he won't pee indoors. We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. The time I took to read these stories has to be the most entertaining time I've had in ages.
    What delicious writing! My cheeks ache from smiling and laughing. I'm hooked! Give us some more! Beautiful writing!