The Cyclist’s Full-Body Workout

Warm up: Go to get your bike to head down for the paper, and remember about the slow puncture that showed up on Sunday. No problem, it’s a thorn in the tyre, it will probably stay pretty stable for a few days before you get a chance to fix it. Pump up the tyre fully with the track pump and set off with a song in your heart and not a care in the world.

First interval: Three miles down the road, realise that the tyre is now flat again. Contemplate turning round. But it is only another three miles to the shop and surely you can get there and back if you pump it up a few times. Get out the little bike pump and refill the tyre. Pedal as fast as you can, in case that will help

Second interval: Two miles later, with the shop almost in your sights, admit the tyre needs pumping again. Refill tyre, sprint for the shop. By the time you have bought your paper, realise that you tyre needs pumping again.

Main workout: repeat the pedal, stop, pump, full gas sprint for the next five and a half miles, with decreasing intervals between them. For extra points, be wearing full rain gear so you can sweat off any additional weight.

Tip: Remember to breathe! Sometimes an audible breath can help you manage the stress of a workout like this. You can use an ‘ujjayi’ or ocean breath – or you can scream ‘f*** off you stupid machine’ at your bike as it falls off its kick stand for the umpteenth time. Whichever works for you.

Cool down: Do the walk of shame for the last half mile home.

If I’ve learned anything cycling here for the last 12 years, it’s that the puncture fairy always wins. And clearly, I’ve not learned anything …

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