Big Day Out

This morning I got up from the sofa at 6am and went down to East Coast Park to help out with the Parkrun. I had the glamourous duty of being the backmarker, running behind everyone else to make sure nobody got lost or left behind. As it turned out, I missed three ladies that had turned up late to the start, so I had to wait and then it took around 45 minutes to get all the way round the course: although that was terribly slow, it did leave me fairly fresh for the rest of the day.

Instead of going home afterwards, I waited for my wife to appear and then we hired a tandem. La Serpiente Aquatica Negra sat up front on a baby seat between me and the handlebars, and my wife took the rear position. Unfortunately, the sort of tandem you can hire at East Coast Park isn’t the greatest bicycle you’ve ever ridden. The brakes didn’t really do anything, the gears wouldn’t shift, the handlebars were too low, too narrow, and encased in the sort of painfully hard plastic grips that make your hands go numb after five minutes, and of course the saddles were enormous leather monstrosities that people who don’t ride bicycles think look comfortable, but that anyone who sits and pedals on one for more than five minutes realised is a torture device of great power and ferocity.

Apart from that the bike was ok.

I got grazed thighs because the baby seat was so wide every time I pedalled I’d hit it with the insides of my legs. We adjusted the seat height after twenty minutes and that cured that. My daughter seemed quite amused with all this, reaching out and slapping the tops of my legs as they appeared to either side or her, while my wife and I wrestled with sloppy gears and a loose chain between the front and rear cranks, that did awful things to both of us.

Still, we didn’t run anyone over or crash into a tree and it was quite a pleasant hour together as a family. Apart from the last ten minutes when our child went into rage mode, although again her wails ceased every time I rang the bell on the handlebars. I didn’t want to do that too many times, for fear of crashing, but it worked in emergencies.

We went home and my wife then had to leave straightaway with our daughter for a swimming lesson, while I stayed at home to have breakfast and read the paper. However, that little sleep I’d had meant I was going cross-eyed, so I had a twenty minute nap then had to run out the door to get to my barber’s appointment. Without having breakfast.

Hair cut, I got a coffee and a guacamole sandwich, went home, did the washing up, got in another taxi and took our daughter to a play date (via a cake shop), then came home again, went out to get a pizza, stopped off to pick up ice creams and bread, came home almost unconscious with hunger, bathed the little one, put her to bed, watched s motorcycle race and then collapsed. Better than the last few days’ inactivity, but pretty hard to cope with.

At least tomorrow I’m only going for a massive run then charging back and forth across Singapore three times.

3 responses to “Big Day Out”

  1. Sounds a day full of mini adventures. And reading about the park run has reminded me – I have promised to laminate my friend’s pass. That I think is the closest I will get to a Park Run. Incidentally, she reckons the Crystal Palace is a hard one, what with there being a few hills etc, and of course the dinosaurs to brave ! !

  2. Don’t latecomers ruin the whole point of having a backmarker? What if someone wanders off course while you are waiting for the latecomers? What if latecomers wander off course before they have reached you? Thank goodness you all reached the end without any disasters befalling you.

    • It did strike me as a bit odd, but given the fairly anarchic nature of a race in Singapore that doesn’t have a $60 entry fee and a fun bag with a towel, corporate logo emblazoned t-shirt and mandatory can of energy drink, somehow it’s quite fitting at the same time 🙂

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