Fat Gritty Bradley

Some men call their wives “darling”. To my beloved I am, variously, Cannon Girl and Fat Gritty Bradley.

Cannon Girl was my winter nom de plume. It came about as I swaddled myself in multiple layers of ‘technical performance wear’ (pants), thermals and folded newspapers, topping the whole lot off with a pair of black, bib leggings. I looked like an overstuffed sausage or, as my husband guffawed, as though I were about to be fired from a cannon.

Incidentally, newspaper is a jolly effective insulating material for cycling, unless it rains. I even fashioned myself some little ear-warmers out of the local paper and wore them, elf-style, very successfully until I got caught in a downpour. I was picking papier mache out of my ears for the rest of the day.

In my head, I am Bradley. I asked for a pair of stick-on sideburns for Christmas but was disappointed to find nothing fuzzy in my festive stocking.

At first, I was Other Bradley. Then, the day I finally completed the eight-mile circuit from our house without having a lie down at the top of the hill, I became Bradley. Henceforth, Sir Wiggo can only be referred to as Other Bradley.

To be honest, I have been a bit disappointed in my alter ego of late. I fear the knighthood might have softened him up. Perhaps he has been spending too much time at the round table and not enough in the saddle. I explained as much to my permanently bemused other half: “I’m not the Bradley after the Olympics, I’m the bolshie, determined, winning Wiggo. I want to be that gritty Bradley.”

“You want to be Fat Gritty Bradley?” he queried, very little about his wife puzzling him now.

So that is how I came to be known, despite my best efforts, as Fat Gritty Bradley.
                                         Me, ready to ride.



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