Training for the Tour de France
Training for the Tour de France 8:17. A personal best time. Not that anyone is celebrating you understand. There’s no one here with flowers, champagne, interestingly coloured jersey, cute cuddly toy lion with optional St. Bernard or even a well done, but nevertheless it remains my personal best time. Eight minutes and seventeen seconds. That’s all it took to acquire one weeks worth of shopping in the supermarket. With a little more training and by arriving at the supermarket earlier to avoid the post school run queue I reckon I could shave off another minute and a half. Why am I doing this? I’m training for the Tour de France.
Well, I’m not cycling around the supermarket obviously. Of course, being female I’d have to do the Tour de l’Aude instead, which is only a week long and certainly doesn’t require me to sprint around supermarkets as though my hair is on fire, because they never broadcast a second of coverage in the UK anyway. This despite the fact that Emma Pooley seems to win it regularly. Say what you like about the woeful inadequacies of the nation’s football team, we do happen to be rather good at cycling in this country, and you’d think that with all that lycra the nations papers would be plastering pictures of cyclists all over the place in a bid to raise sales. Er, where was I?
Oh yes. Standing outside a supermarket, out of breath.
I’m here practising my speed shopping so that I can maximise my Tour de France viewing. Every year I seem to miss vital parts of the race through having to do mundane things like shopping, cleaning, putting the washing out and well, living, I suppose. So this year I am in training to get any essential jobs out of the way before the coverage starts.
Do I have nothing better to do? This is something better to do! Who wouldn’t want to spend six hours a day for three weeks watching various internet tickers, reading Twitter feeds, watching Eurosport and listening to Sean Kelly, Dave Harmon and Carlton Kirby as they commentate on the racing? Well alright, so just me then. Nevertheless, I shall be doing it and I shall be doing it uninterrupted, particularly by supermarket shopping.
I could get my shopping delivered, which would solve the problem of actually fetching it. The few times I have done this I have been aghast at the amount of carrier bags required to transport items from van to house. I swear individual tins get individual carrier bags and customer service seems to be an ideal unheard of these days. Given that I live around the corner from a supermarket it just seems simpler to go and get it myself.
Other problems are coming to mind now. Do I disconnect the phone for the duration of commentary? How do I answer the door without missing that vital sprint finish? Should I rearrange the house layout so that the kettle is next to my computer? Perhaps I could just move everything into the bathroom. Well, maybe that’s going too far. I’ll keep working on my shopping instead.
Alice Wood – June 2010