“Let them eat cake every 160.9344 km” (attrib. Queenie Marie Antoinette)
I brought my trusty push-bike and my scented running shoes to Southern Germany and though I have succeeded in re-calibrating the bike’s odometer to kilometers I am still stuck in thinking in the Queen’s finest olde Imperial.
I always find a mile to be just a little bit longer than I imagine it to be, but kilometres have turned out to be real softeners. When visiting Europe as a cycle-touring tourist with a Kinder egg toy tent and a spare sock I still calibrated my madness in miles and a 100 mile day was the benchmark. Now after 100km I feel equally as spent as if I had cycled 100 miles but I have barely left the neighbourhood, 62.1371192 miles – give or take.
Hilly bits are just too depressing in metric. A 2000 ft climb, provides a degree of comfort that the wheezing and palpitations come with the territory for us polka-dot shirted grimpeurs. But the metric equivalent, a pathetically low 609 metres simply encourages self-loathing at the effects of age and weakness of body and mind.
Running has provided a challenge with the language. German sub divides running into joggen and rennen. This has led to some gentle discussions with the management. I have always considered joggers to be of the same primitive life-forms as the clicky-clacky ski-stick walkers or the pairs of gossiping breast-stroke swimmers who do lengths of the baths with their heads above the water to keep their perms dry. I am told that in Germany the slow speed that I “run” at is classified as joggen and rennen is reserved for Jamaicans, Kenyans & Ethiopians.
The solution that I have settled on is to develop my own scale.
The Cake Scale
The only reason for anyone to endure exercise is to provide a counterbalance to the eating of cake. Therefore my unit of measurement is the CCCE. (Cold Coffee-Cream Éclair).
The calibration is based on one ten-millionth of the number of cakes that I could eat if they didn’t make me so blobby. The original CCCE is kept in my freezer for dispute resolution and for when the cake shop is closed at the end of a 100 mile day. The conversion from Imperial is:
100 miles (160.9344 km) on the bike = 1 CCCE
Unfortunately no run (rennen, joggen, laufen) that I am capable of completing is equal to even the smallest known French or German CCCE.