DODGY TACKLE COLUMN: A wee spin round the Alps during coronavirus lockdown? Hit me baby, one more time...
SOCIAL distancing or self-isolation are the only options in the brutal times enveloping and chewing us up day in, day out.
That said, it does seriously mad things to the frazzled head and the ever-upwardly-mobile waistline. And see anyone who says it doesn't? They're simply not doing it right or, at the very least, not cramming their jaws with the right comfort food groups at the correct splits and intervals.
Take Dodgy's timeline in the past week by way of example. By day three in the Big Muncher household the complicated relationship with the fridge had reached complete and utter breaking point. Kaput.
We hadn't even stockpiled a single edible item, never mind soaps, jigsaws or bog roll. But the ravaged scenes inside from top shelf to bottom drawers were scandalous to say the least. The significant other was now starting to make disgruntled noises about padlocks and kitchen curfews. Not good at all.
It got to the stage where ‘William ‘Hotpoint' Perry' had been visited that many times that the door, I swear to Jacamo, started creaking itself open like a deleted scene from Poltergeist II each time I got within three size 11 slippers after witching hour. I don't know why I have three slippers either, to be honest. Buy two, get one free in Home Bargains before the rationing kicked in? Who knows?
Anyway, something needed to be actioned very quickly, or less slowly with respect to concise dictionary definitions of energy and velocity.
I figured that since running hasn't really been my thing for about 40-odd years now, I needed to get a bike sorted. Preferably one which didn't really involve real cycling and, albeit limited, traffic.
One visit to Gumtree later, we were in business. A quick spin in the car – essential journey, officer –dressed like one of those leg-ends who got ET match-fit back in the day led to a three-metre long muffled conversation with a burly gentleman called Hamed on the outskirts of greater Poleglass.
In no time at all a Matrix IC2 spin bike with a 15kg flywheel (inset), whatever that is, from his gymnasium store was being slung into my boot in the deal of the century. He gave me an unused embossed gravy rag for free to boot, smiled through a snood and hoped that we'd meet again some time.
“Brilliant, another clothes horse,” sighed the joint-mortgage holder as I fitted the saddle the wrong way round initially, pulling the pin on my optimism with an explosive and,
in fairness to her, fairly fair truth bomb if the fractured past is to be recognised.
Half-an-hour in, though, and I was proving everyone in this house and along the imaginary roadside wrong. There I was, a fleshy reincarnation of ‘the little elephant', so to speak. A voluptuous Marco Pantani of sorts, God rest the pirate himself, powering up the Alps in the Farrell back yard with the XL maillot à pois rouges et maillot jaune both in clear sight on the clothes line.
I looked over my right shoulder. Sort of. The neighbour/peloton was straining a neck while watering her hibiscus or similar to see if I would make it to the top of my imaginary peak without keeling – just in case she needed milk. I did survive, though, and I'll hopefully improve on the Grand Tour as these surreal days roll into one.
“Just call me Elefantino,” I sung to the heavens as I sorely alighted from the Matrix IC2 like a chaffing Rooster Cogburn bouncing off Dollor in downtown Indian Territory.
“To your face?” she asked as she banged a relatively wartime-looking post-stage bowl of Campbells minestrone in the microwave for me.
“No bread, thanks,” I replied, tailing off, half-hoping the request would fall on deaf ears.
And it didn't...
Another person seemingly cracking the fitness game while she has lockdown time on her hands, meanwhile, is Britney Spears.
The former/current singer, best known as the preferred slang for ‘going for a few pints/Britneys' when that was actually a pastime, claimed this week in an Instagram post that she usually manages to run 100 metres in “six or seven seconds”. More impressively she then claimed she'd just managed to achieve the feat in under five (Oops, I PED it again), smashing Usain Bolt's world record 9.58 seconds for the distance by five seconds or so.
Spears has since clarified that she isn't actually faster than Usain Bolt, a cheetah or a pronghorn antelope with mustard on its arse and was only pulling our chains, the rascal that she is.
“Obviously I was joking about running the 100-metre dash in 5.97 seconds,” she disclosed.
“The world record is held by Usain Bolt, which is 9.58 seconds… but you better believe I'm coming for the world record. #joking #workbitch”
Spears has proven to be a breath of fresh social media air during the coronavirus lockdown, sending money to fans who have lost their jobs due to the crisis and pledging support for socialist ideals.
That's all well and good, but given her admission, Dodgy is just sorry that he won't be crossing paths or sharing a protein shake and a sushi bap or two with Spearsy at Tokyo 2021 afterall. Still, maybe she'll send me that oul' red Lycra jumpsuit of hers for my Individual Pursuit, Keirin and Omnium tilts because I must confess, I, er, still believe...
See you over the hill, comrades.