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Reliability…

Fri: Am: 8x1min row – 30 sec rec, 8x1min row – 20sec rec 8x30sec – 20 sec rec
PM: Swim, drills, 10x100m
Sat: 4x5min run, 4x5min bike, 4x5min run (4min hard, 1min easy)
Sun: 2.5/3hr bike
Mon: 1hr run, 2x10min Kettlebell + core, fair bit of biking..
Tues: 1x500m, 15x100m hard, 500m of kick/pull buoy, PM: 3x8min hard, 2min easy bike, 10min easy/drills

Things not to do: embark upon long bike ride with no spare inner tube, no puncture repair kit, and a phone with a slither of battery.

Of course, we all see where this is going. This weekend I went for a lovely ride on a slightly blustery day. I turned down a club group ride in the interest of efficiency, as there was a mountain of revision back home and I wanted a short, sharp ride so I could return and get on.

I’d basically got to the becon, when over I rock I did roll, and my tyre made an excruciating “pssshhhhhhh” noise. “FFS” I thought to myself. Resigning myself to total fail, I tried to call LB – 4 missed calls later and he was clearly not available. Jacket, removed in the general enjoyment of going nice and fast and getting nice and warm, was returned to my shoulders and I turned round to try to roll back on my completely flat tyre.

Oh dear.. I hear you think. Sounds like a ruined tyre and a bad ride.

Thankfully, about ten minutes later I bumped into a friend carrying a handy puncture repair kit (like intelligent people do..) and plenty of bike knowledge. After a few minutes, puncture repaired, and off I went to the local bike shop for a new inner tube, via home to pick up the things I should have taken in the first place.

I promptly went back to where I started and began my ride all over again – so no harm done.

However, clearly this is a lesson learnt. First, on a simple level: erm – carry an innertube. or two. or.. no – lets not be silly.

On a more abstract, slightly unnecessary level: Relying on others is a risky business, because it somewhat depends upon their availability. In life, it’s much better to stand on your own two feet.

In a Utopian existence we would never struggle anyway. In a perfect world, I might say you should lean on someone when you choose to let yourself, not when you need to. As it stands, sometimes it’s necessary to need a little help from another, and that give and take strengthens relationships. Pig-headed stubborness is useful sometimes but can quickly descend into arrogance. But when it comes down to daily tasks and simple little conundrums, it really is best to provide for yourself and not expect others to run and pick up the pieces when absentmindedness creeps in.

So, in summery: Know when to ask for help. But try to need to as little as possible.

I am an NCTJ qualified journalist and copywriter with a year’s worth of experience as a local hack, and just under two years’ of experience working in the marketing department for a highstreet retailer. I currently work at Cycling Weekly, previous to this I was the editor at Total Women's Cycling. I do a little freelance writing alongside my job, and have written for Runner’s World, Triathlete’s World, Sussex Sport, Basingstoke Gazette newspaper, the Brighton Argus, Steve Hart Photography and 2LK Design. I blog to record the activities in my life which I don’t want to forget when I’m old and wrinkly (let’s hope the internet never melts down – but it seems safer than a notebook) – to let old friends and family know what I’m up to, and because I enjoy playing with words. I’m always looking for new projects – and you can email me should you ever need someone with an energetic passion for word doodling. Email: michelle.arthurs@gmail.com Twitter: @RideWriteRepeat Instagram: @RideWriteRepeat

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