Thursday, 5 July 2012

Middle Aged Men in Lycra

I love the BBC comedy The Office for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that it was set in Slough and offers nostalgic glimpses of the town I grew up in during the opening titles. My favourite character is Gareth Keenan (played by Mackenzie Crook) and my absolute favourite moment is from the deleted scenes of the series 2 DVD and basically involves Gareth posing in lycra cycle shorts.

I have had many occasions recently to be reminded of this hilariously funny spectacle.

My husband is organising and participating in a 6 day, 200 mile charity bicycle ride from The Queen's School in Chester to Buckingham Palace. 

The planning and arranging part has been something of a mission but on top of that, there has been the task of making sure he had a bike that would withstand the rigours of such a journey and likewise, a body that had the best chance to do the same.

I am getting used to the sight of an upturned bicycle in my conservatory, spare parts arriving by post and today there appears to be a small selection of inner tubes dumped on a chair.

I am also getting used to my husband waking early in the morning for a training session before work. I probably wouldn't even notice that he had gone were it not for the fact that he has to open our garage door to get his bike. The electric opening mechanism is extremely noisy and clunky. Unluckily for our  poor Charis, her bedroom is directly above the garage. It is like a small earthquake in her room. The bed actually shakes.

What I will NEVER get used to is the sight of my middle aged husband in lycra cycle shorts!! He has gone the whole hog and kitted himself out in a fluorescent cycling jacket, lycra trousers when there is the need for warmth, and a lycra vest. He thinks he looks fit and sporty. My eyes see a completely different picture! It never gets old. The belly straining against the sleek fabric tells a story of beer consumption rather than sporting prowess.

My 6'5" husband has a very long body. This often means that there is a small discrepancy between where his tops end and his trousers begin. Add to this the bending posture of a cyclist and a small discrepancy is in danger of becoming a butt crack revealing catastrophe. Bearing in mind that the cyclists accompanying my husband on this trip are refined young ladies from an all girls public school and you can see that this is a problem! His innovative solution was to purchase  a 'Slimmer Belt'. This is a thick band of neoprene that is wrapped around the middle and secured with velcro. He says that the back support it offers will be useful. He didn't mention the 'instant slimming effect' or the 'flattens and tones abs' promise on the box!

Inner tubes and the Slimmer Belt

I do tease my poor husband but I am incredibly proud of him for even considering undertaking such a mammoth task as cycling all the way to London. I will continue to support his endeavour and be ready with the Deep Heat on his return to ease his aching muscles and the offer of a gentle massage to relieve his aching saddle sore unmentionables.

I don't know if he will be hanging up his lycra once this is over or if it will continue to be made use of. Maybe the Slimmer Belt will do its job and he will cut a fine athletic figure. Whatever happens, I do know that the image I have of him in my head now will never lose the power to make me smile!


  1. He he :) I too have a lycra wearing husband and can't help laughing when he dons his Freddie Mercury style cycling outfits.

    Good luck to your hubby! Arnica baths are also good. I love giving my hubby massages. I get to press as hard as I like and get a bit of stress release while helping his tired muscles.

  2. ah bless lol I'm sure it's worth wearing them for all the good it's doing. Well done to him for the cycling and having the nerve to wear Lycra


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