Turbo and not Madrid (but so very, very nearly)

After turbo and gym sessions to start the week, the much needed variety of the ride outside on Wednesday has revitalised my training and even (slightly) changed my view of the turbo trainer.

I’d got very bored with the turbo and having enjoyed my ride outside, logic might suggest that should have made it even harder to get back on it. However, it didn’t seem to work that way and I got back on the turbo on Thursday and even managed to summon the enthusiasm for some intervals to lighten what had become a bit of a one-paced slog.

I did 45 minutes for 22.32km @29.8kph (13.9 miles @ 18.5mph). The intervals even helped with the total distance. (Note to self: keep cycling on the proper road bike – its carbon fibre saddle requires a certain amount of hardening of the backside.)

The rest of the day was full of domestic chores preparing for a long weekend in Madrid. It had been a slightly nervous wait with the developing Coronavirus pandemic but we’d signed up for alerts to Government advice. We checked the governmental website on Friday morning and left for the airport.

Perhaps we should have cancelled?

I’m not fully aligned with the ‘flu is worse and we don’t get all excited about that’ brigade because the new virus still has some unknowns and no vaccine as yet, but nor do I want to overreact.

On the other hand, I’m not one to take silly risks (except when it comes to sporting challenges). On balance, as we are both fit and healthy (and my wife a few years younger than me) we decided to go and enjoy a slightly warmer climate and different culture for a few days.

To be honest we were less concerned about catching the virus than we were about being caught up, quarantined in a hotel for 14 days. After all, we could just as easily catch the virus the UK and we had insurance.

The drive to Heathrow was good, we parked, dropped off the bag and sailed through security. In the departure lounge I again checked the government website and nothing had changed so off we went to departure gate 48.

The moment we arrived at the departure gate, the news broke that the UK government had changed its advice on travelling to Spain – the new advice was not to travel to parts of Spain (including Madrid) unless the travel was essential.

Travel against government advice would have invalidated our travel insurance – exactly when we might have needed it most – so we did not board the plane.

Airports are funny places once you don’t fit the normal process. Our bag was taken off the plane but we had to be escorted back into the arrivals part of the airport in order to leave.

We were told that Heathrow limits such movements to 6 passengers per hour – what on earth would happen if a big Boeing failed to leave and deposited 500 passengers into the same boat? Presumably, Tom Hanks takes them through ‘The Terminal’ process.

As it was, we waited an hour to get into the next group of 6 to be escorted through a few checkpoints to the arrivals areas, and then had to wait while the suitcase was brought back to the baggage reclaim area.

We left the house just before 9am and we got back at about 5pm, having been nowhere but Heathrow airport.

As it is, we are in two minds – if the news had broken just minutes later, we’d have been on the plane and committed to going. We might have had a great trip.

On the other hand, we hear that much of Madrid is shut – particularly the galleries, museums and many shops and restaurants. Equally, we might have been been more likely to get the virus or to be caught in a quarantined hotel for two weeks.

On balance, probably best not to have gone. We celebrated by having a take-away (my first and probably one of six in the year) and a bottle of champagne.

Disappointing and frustrating for us, but not a patch on the disappointment of anyone who has trained for things like the London Marathon, and even less comparable to the suffering of those caught up in the worst areas and those who have the disease or those with loved ones who have died from it.

My thoughts are with you all.

Stay safe, people.

7 thoughts on “Turbo and not Madrid (but so very, very nearly)

  1. Julie

    Would you believe I just cancelled my accommodation in Malaga. We were supposed to go for a half marathon next Sunday but it was postponed and then the guidance cane today about Spain so nothing to be done. It’s frightening really, we are only at the start of this thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Omil Post author

    A minor inconvenience for me and my wife – so much worse for so many others, which helps put it into perspective. Really sorry to hear about you cancellation but I’m sure all that training has been good for the soul (and legs, and respiratory system, etc).

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s