I've had a really good day today. I'm really enjoying life at the moment, I seem to have got things ticking over nicely and have the time and money to be able to do fun stuff rather than always feeling like I'm just trying to keep on top of things.
First of all, I went to the Proper Bike Shop
. I went on a couple of scouting missions during the week to get more of an idea what I was looking for, and convinced myself that I'd be better of going into a proper bike shop where, even if I felt out of place, the staff would have some idea what they were talking about, rather than a non-specialist shop where the staff might not have any more idea than me.
Anyway, I had a budget in my head, and I managed to stick to it. No pressure to buy anything more than I needed, in fact, the guy seemed to work me down the price range rather than up it. I put a deposit on this
. I'm not saying it's the best, flashiest bike ever, but it will do what I need, it's got a rack so I can carry stuff, it's not so expensive that I'll panic about it being locked up outside work all day (although we do have bike racks in the car park which is covered by CCTV which should help), and it's enough to get me back into cycling after nearly 10 years off.
I get to pick it up next weekend. This gives me a dilemma. I'll be a week out from my marathon. The temptation with any new toy is to use it as soon as possible, but I'm not sure that commuting to work on the bike, using entirely different muscles, in the week before the marathon is the best idea. So I think I'll have to have a short ride round at the weekend to get used to it, and then make myself put it away until I get back from Spain, then break it in properly when I get home.
After that I headed over to Headingley. First of all I went to the Olive Tree
for lunch. This is pretty much my favourite restaurant in Leeds, and their saturday lunch menu is a bargain - basically the same as Sunday lunch but a fraction of the price. I had olives, potato keftedes, pitta bread, spinach and cheese filo pie, rice, and bits of salad garnish. Delicious, as ever. I was also proud of myself for not finishing everything, the olives, pitta bread and rice seemed to come in two person sized portions despite there being only me, and I resisted the temptation to carb load too much on them.
I had a bit of time to kill after that, so sat snuggled up in a pub with a glass of red wine and a book. I'm not the sort of person who gets worried about eating or drinking alone, I will quite happily ask for a table for one in a restaurant if that's what I want to do.
Then on to the rugby. A fantastic game, and what's becoming the now traditional Wigan victory. I love beating Leeds in Leeds, particularly when it involves knocking them out of the cup! The rain even held off pretty much for most of the game.
Back home, and I must be disciplined. I have a victory to savour, and Eurovision to watch. But I must resist the red wine in the kitchen. I've got Leeds Half in the morning, and I really don't want to have to run up stonegate road hungover, particularly when I have a real chance of being spotted by people I know from work on this one!