When I opened the door I saw a woman who would have been close to seventy, and she said she was seeking sponsorship to ride from Sydney to the Gold Coast on the Queensland border as part of a Rotary fundraising project. This is no easy ride. It's close to 1000 km and uphill a lot of the way. I was impressed by her strength of will and her fitness - no way would I contemplate a ride, and I'm easily a generation or so younger. T'other half and I scrounged through our wallets; we'd been grocery shopping today and were low on cash, but gave her what we had.
Her name is Elke, and Birman boycat Charley demanded to come outside and meet her too. While he charmed her we spoke about bikes and saddles and tyres. She's riding a hybrid bike with a gel saddle so I hope she doesn't feel too much pain if she spends long hours pedalling each day. She's been training around Sydney, which is a hilly place anyway, and has noticed the difference between suburbs; from where she lives which is pleasantly middle-class and where yobs don't break beer bottles in the gutters on Saturday nights, to the area where we live, and yobs do. I recommended Schwalbe Marathons, which she knows of, but didn't know where to get in Sydney (I told her a bike shop who sells them).
So, brave Elke, good luck on your marathon ride. May you ride safely, without incident, and may cars notice you and avoid you. You're braver and fitter than I, and I hope you make the journey in good health and importantly, without a sore bum!