Friday, May 25, 2007

On the disadvantages of having rubber arms

I did something potentially very stupid on Tuesday. Somebody invited me on a week-long trip to Belarus, and I accepted, without really getting all the details first. It now seems that I've to raise 2 grand (difficult, but do-able) spend a few days painting and plastering in a children's home (drudgery, but do-able) and spend 4 days cycling an average of 60k a day.

The last time I was on a bike was at 5am, careening down the middle of Mount St, before my ill-advised baggy trousers caught in the chain and my co-pilot and I landed on our arses. I had to take the trousers off in order to extricate myself from the bike.

The last time I was on a bike before that was when I was 12, I'd say.

I had a pint with the trip's organiser yesterday evening, and he laid all my fears to rest. I'll get to know people easily and make friends quickly. It'll be an emotionally uplifting trip rather than a soul-destroying spot of grief tourism. There's a bus that follows the cyclists, and you can hop on at any time and take a break for a bit. People tend not to, he said, as it becomes a point of pride to actually do the cycle. Fuck that, I thought gleefully, I have no pride when it comes to gruelling excercise. I'll happily ride the special bus.

To further reassure me, he gave me a copy of the documentary made of last year's trip (shortly to air on TG4) so's I could see all the fun I'm going to have. And oh, the horror. I watched it last night. It's full of well-meaning do gooders (already I want to punch them, and hope to fuck they won't be travelling with us this year) and ordinary folk who describe cycling along, sobbing to themselves with the pain. There was one particularly low moment where they describe accidentally riding over some open powerlines and getting electrocuted, as they struggled on tearfully in unflattering padded shorts and torrential rain.

I've been desperately trying to come up with ways to back out with some dignity. I do not want to go. I'll happily fundraise, but the cycling really is too much. So far my ideas have been less than genius:

  1. Break an arm or a leg (a sprain might not be a good enough excuse)
  2. Acquire a horrific dose of food poisoning (been there, and it's very convincing)
  3. Lose a grandparent (I have a failing Granda, but I'm horrified at myself for considering him as an excuse...)
  4. Fuck up my visa application (I suspect they'd try to get me in anyway)
  5. Feign a nervous breakdown (though there's a fair chance of being involuntarily committed)
I'm in a bit of a fucking pickle, to be honest.


KFS said...

I pressed the Randomer button and arrived here, great post but no comments! wtf? I have to find out what happens next now, me intrigue is tickled.

Rosie said...

nobody read me when i started blogging, KFS.