The week before last I went shopping for shoes in my lunch-hour with Liz. This all sounds very girlie girlie but we ended up a few hundred metres away from the Trafford Centre in Tri Central. They were having a closing down sale since they are moving to smaller premises on the same industrial estate to focus on training/coaching and stop trying to sell top end gear at vastly inflated prices.
I had negociated a 5% discount for Sage staff which, surprise surprise, never got published on our Newcastle-centric intranet. I bought a Zoot tri-suit from them which was a couple of seasons old for £10 instead of £125 but after that I couldn’t be tempted into using the discount. I had made it clear to them that I was only considering a sprint event at that stage but typical behaviour in the shop was telling me that the £160 ‘entry level’ Blue Seventy wetsuit was entry level for good reason and not to consider a waterproof GPS watch that doesn’t also have a heart rate monitor. Suffice it to say I knew it wasn’t a place for me to make big ticket purchases though I did go for a dip in their endless pool.
A final 40% off closing sale and me being on the lookout for shoes meant it was worth a trip over and Liz happened to be down from Glasgow and on the lookout for bits for her forthcoming triathlon season and the Sage Office to Office bike ride. Thankfully I am on holiday so cannot be tempted into the 350 mile ride between London, Reading, Oxford, Manchester and Newcastle offices but Liz intends to do part of it whilst there are about 20 people embarking on the full adventure.
There were no shoes in my size so I browsed the saddles mindful of the tear in mine but even with 40% off I didn’t know if the saddles were good value and anyway a saddle’s a saddle innit? How can one be £40 and the next be £70? I stayed strong and kept my wallet closed. Liz found a sweatshirt for her husband, and I was asked my opinion on it which was a bit tricky. It’s hard answering that sort of question to your own wife let alone someone else’s. I should have lied, said it was absolutely fantastic and suppressed the sniggers but I tried to be diplomatic and made some feeble comment about me not being one for large logos. But hey, I’m no style guru, and apparently he’s very pleased with it. Which is nice.
On the way home that evening I stopped off at Lidl which is more my cycle clothing scene. They only had MTB SPDs rather than road ones and I wanted velco straps instead of laces to speed up my dualthlon transitions. Back home I went to trusty Wiggle and bought a £40 pair of dhb which do the job. They are lighter and more rigid than my workshoe SPDs but commuting with them is tricky because if your foot is not fixed in to the pedal it tends to slip off due to the curved underside of the shoe. I survived the first commute with them today and hope to be familiar with them before the race at the weekend. I’ve just found out my number is 123 which has got me thinking about the Jackson 5, let’s hope it’s as easy as ABC.