I really need you to keep a secret for me…
…something just between you and me?
First some background.
I have a brother (lets call him 'bruv'), and for as long as I can remember he has been fatter and less fit than me. It's always been a point of pride that I could beat him in any contest of endurance, that and his lilly-white, worm flesh stomach was more hideous than anything that I could come up with. He attained this perfection of slobbishness by eating tonnes of junk food, and doing no exercise at all.
However this has all changed – not only has he stopped eating junk food, but he has bought an exercise bike and has gone from his former couch potato into a much fitter, slimmer person. So much so the other (only female so far) teachers at his school have been making excuses to cuddle him. He is drinking lots of fruit 'smoothies' and has generally turned his health around.
We occasionally have 'differences of opinion', and as we are both very wilful these will occasionally simmer on and on. So we have come to an understanding that whoever, out of the two of us, dies first, that brother will have 'lost'. Also I want to get my hands on his Will. He has a lot of money.
Since I have become more and more unfit as the years have rolled on, I need to change something. I doubt I'll be able to give up the junk food, and I know that working rotating shifts can increase your chances of getting cancer. I also don't have enough room in my flat, nor the motivation to use, an exercise bike.
So (and this is the big secret) – I've bought myself a road bike.
Why is this a secret I hear you ask, (or rather – 'when is he getting back to the exciting ambulance stuff?'), well my mother mustn't know.
I know that the The British Medical Association has estimated that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by twenty to one, but my mum won't listen to reason. My chances of colo-rectal cancer will drop by about 40%, while the risk of heart disease will drop by 50%. It doesn't matter to her, all she can see is me laying splattered under a lorry.
I've never seen anyone killed while on a bike – I know that there were 136 deaths of cyclists in 2001, while 712 pedestrians died and 1749 car drivers/passengers died in the same period. For cyclists that is one death every 29 million kilometres travelled. I've only ever seen minor injuries from cyclists – the low speed of traffic in London helps, and there are more and more cycling paths than ever before. For more of the logic behind my decision go here and here.
But logic doesn't count for Mum, she thinks the moment I set foot to pedal I'll be mown down by a truck driver.
She doesn't read this blog (shes scared of the internet), so if you see her, don't tell her.
And yes Bruv, this means you too.
(Back to work tomorrow for more ambulance goodness)