Waiting in all day for television cable installation and repair men (I would say ?people? but it is usually men) is the only thing that keeps me loyal to one service provider.
When I get irritated with cranky broadband service or terrible phone lines when making overseas calls, I come within a whisker of ringing up and cancelling my subscription.
But then I remember that the process of installing cable television, telephone lines and internet connections basically writes off an entire day of your life and I stay put, like a sucker.
I had pretty much written off Day 26 because I?d been given the helpful ?appointment window? of nine till six. I was resigned to waiting in all day, in the knowledge that the guy would turn up at ten to six, because this is what always happens.
So, imagine my surprise when he arrived just before one, ran all the cables where they needed to run and was off by just after half past, leaving me plenty of time to get out on the bike.
?Leave the set top box switched on and the channel information will be downloaded within the hour. Same with the broadband,? said the man.
On the menu today ? according to my now messed-up schedule ? was a 40-minute ride at tempo pace. Basically, ride hard-ish, as if you?re in a break in a road race, was Coach Hannah?s advice.
Now, Coach Hannah knows that if I were ever in a break in a road race I?d sit on the back and make doubtful noises every time someone asked me to come through to do a turn, but let?s not be churlish about this. I rode pretty hard but the wind on the way out was keeping me at a virtual stand still. I?d definitely be sitting on in these circumstances, I thought.
The way back in was quick and I was looking forward to watching Eurosport before getting back to hanging lining wallpaper.
Naturally, neither the television nor the broadband was working. I spent 54 minutes waiting to be connected to a human being in the call centre ? a full three minutes longer than I?d been out on my bike ride ? and it would have been fascinating to have hooked me up to a heart-rate monitor for both exercises to see which got my heart working hardest.
When, finally, a tinny voice answered and asked me what was wrong, I nearly said: ?I?m missing Paris-Nice.?
I rang the office and Ed told me Discovery Channel?s Yaroslav Popovych had held off a raging peloton for 100 kilometres, or something. On second thought?s, I?m glad I missed it. I?m not sure I can stomach a season of Discovery and Astana wiping the floor with everyone else.
Distance covered: 23km (14.3 miles)
Time: 51 minutes
Average speed: 27kph (16.8mph)
No. of times cable service told me to reboot modem or switch set-top box off and on again: 4
No. of minutes I?ve seen of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico so far: 0
Top tip for Milan-San Remo: Alessandro Ballan in a break or Oscar Freire in a sprint