I’m Spen666 and I’m an Addict

Tonight finally brought me to the realisation that I have an addiction. I’ll come back to that in a bit.

Well in the last couple of weeks, my cycling has not been as far as I wanted, but there is reason for this. The weekend of 11/12th February, my son came down to visit me. I had high hopes of lots of cycling, but the weather was against us. We had planned to ride to LVYCC meeting on the Saturday morning and then ride around Redbridge Cycle Centre during the club session. We also had plans to go out with some of the club committee on the Sunday Morning for a ride into Central London. Unfortunately, the weather meant the circuit at the cycle centre was closed as it was too icy.

Tom and I rode to/ from the cycle centre and did around 9 miles getting there and back. That was the only riding we did. It was decided to cancel the Sunday ride as it was likely to be too icy.

As any good parent would do with his student son, Tom and I hit the alcohol. A Stella Cidre session on the Friday night and then on the Saturday afternoon and night we had a jar or ten around Liverpool Street Station with some of the lads who had come down for the Newcastle game at Spurs.

We met them before the game and drank then and again after the game. In fact if truth be known, Newcastle were so bad that we were back in the bar during the second half of the game. Friday night we had 12 cans of Stella Cidre for £9 from the supermarket. On Saturday, 2 bottles of inferior cider cost £10. Is it any wonder that so many pubs are closing down. Ten bottles of cider in a pub would cost £50 but only £7.50 from the Supermarket. Hmmmm had to figure it out as to why people are not going to the pubs as often as they used to.

Tom left on the Sunday to head back to Sheffield for his University course in alcohol and women studies. I expect him to get a first in alcohol, but like most males, he’ll be luck to get a third in women studies. It was good to see Tom and spend some time with him. No longer do I need to be looking after him. It has moved from a father son to a friendship . But if you are reading this Tom, I’m still the boss.

On the Monday (13th Feb) I was only working a 1/2 day and had the Tuesday and Wednesday morning off work as well. Why you ask? Well, I had arrange with Michelle’s parents to surprise her for Valentine’s Day. I got the train to Newcastle on the Monday afternoon and then cycled the 10 or so miles to Michelle’s house. Her parents had arranged to visit Marks & Spencer for me and get their Valentine’s Dine at Home meal deal. Elizabeth had even cooked a meal for us on the Monday night so ensuring their was enough food for everyone.

Michelle’s face was a picture when she came downstairs in her house to answer the phone and heard my voice, eventually realising it was coming from the kitchen, not from London! A very pleasant Valentine’s Day was spent with Michelle, involving, visiting the rubbish dump oh and lunch at a lovely little coffee shop in Hexham.

(Still not the Hearth though is it Michelle? For around 18 months Michelle has been promising to take me for coffee in the Arts Centre in the Village she lives in, but not delivered yet!)

Then on Tuesday night we had the M&S meal which was fantastic value. It was good to spend time with both Michelle & Josh for dinner. Whether by design or by accident, Josh had arranged to be with one of his friends during the day on Tuesday, thus allowing Michelle and I time alone.

It was great to travel to Newcastle to surprise someone very special for Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday brought an early  start and a bike ride back to Newcastle Central Station for my train back to work. Sadly, I never got to work.

Despite feeling good on my ride to the station, as the train headed to London, I felt distinctly ill. I felt completely drained, so instead of heading to work I headed home to bed. Thursday was even worse and I never got out of bed. I felt a little better on Friday, but in the morning was not well enough to go to work. Fortunately, I continued to improve during the day as Michelle was coming down for the weekend.

We had a great weekend, spending  time in the pub and then a romantic meal for two from Dixy Chicken – actually I cooked a meal for us and surprisingly for Michelle it was edible. On Saturday, I treated Michelle by taking her to the greasy spoon cafe at Leyton before a no expense trip to see Orient lose at home to Scunthorpe.

“No expense?” I hear you say. Well that’s right as I got a free ticket for Michelle from my friends Tony & Lisa.

Saturday night we had a night in, just Michelle and I and three bottles of vodka. Admittedly not all the bottles were full at the commencement of the night. By the end of the night none of them were full. Once again, I had cooked a meal that was edible. Is there no end to my culinary talents

Sunday sadly meant Michelle had to go home, but before she did we spent a pleasant couple of hours in Greenwich. If you ever get the chance to go to Greenwich, I can recommend the food stalls there for your lunch. Its fantastic fare and so varied as well.

Monday was another day off the bike. This time because I was waiting for a plumber to arrive to fix the boiler. Did I say it wasn’t working over the weekend. Not sure how Michelle and I kept warm! The plumber arrived mid morning, but was unable to fix the heating as he needed to get a part for the boiler. So I took public transport into work as plumber was to return on Monday evening. It saved a bit of time to get public transport. The plumber returned on Monday night, fitted the new switch, but that did not fix the problem. So I have to wait until Friday to get the job finished. This is partly my fault as I was not available today, Wednesday or Thursday.

Still today I did manage to cycle to work and back Smile

So what about this addiction? Well if I said it was alcohol or football, then you’d all groan and say you knew that. No, at 11pm tonight I was out in the back garden cleaning my bike chain and washing my bike. As I was doing that, it dawned on me that these were not the actions of a reasonable sane man. These were the actions of a man with an addiction to cycling.

So in the style of Alcoholics Anonymous, My name is Spen666 and I am an alcoholic, sorry I’m a cycling addict.

Well Michelle, you were  wrong, I’ve managed to do a whole post without complaining or whinging on this blog about my repeated problems with Virgin Media and their doubling of my broadband speed from 10mbs to 20mbs which means I am now generally getting between 0.15mbs and 9mbs. Before they doubled my broadband speed ( at additional cost to me), I was generally getting nearly 10mbs.

Damn you Michelle, you made me mention this, and so I lose the bet.

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About spen666

I'm a 40 something football fan and cyclist. I've been a football fanatic most of my life and have completed the 92 football league & premier league grounds Added to this numerous non league grounds, a number abroad and you start to get the picture. I took up cycling in around 2000. Although my father was a former World Vets Champion, I got into cycling accompanying my son to ride in London. This was followed by my commuting to work each day into Central London. Then doing some Sunday rides, then some audax events (www.audax.uk.net) and then a week's cycling holiday in France with a friend. From there, I got more and more into cycling and in 2009 completed LEJoG and in 2010 rode in the USA with the Police Unity Tour. I completed blogs for those events at www.aminearlythere.blogspot.com and www.bothesidesofthepond.blogspot.com Feel free to read them and learn more about me. I live alone which suits me as it gives me time at weekends to pursue my interests of cycling and football. (Well what did you expect me to say? That I'm sad at being single?) I'm currently looking for my next challenge. Any suggestions gratefully received.
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