Hot day, big hill, and a cold beer – I wasn't expecting that though!

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  • Hot day, big hill, and a cold beer – I wasn't expecting that though!
  • Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    That was a bit of a surprise.

    On Wednesday I was cycling up a big Portugese hill with my son (road bikes, sneaked onto the family holiday). Lovely warm day, blue sky, beautiful road, enjoying the ride, and so we stopped at a small bar for an ice cold beer.

    If you’re an old duffer, and you pour ice cold beer into a nice warm body then sometimes you get very weird effects. About ten minutes after leaving the bar it felt like someone had placed the blade of a large heavy shovel against my chest and was pushing with all their strength against it.

    I carried on cycling a bit longer feeling dreadful, and then got off and, with my son looking at me as though I had finally lost it, lay on the ground swearing, groaning and writhing around. After a while I thought I’d better call an ambulance (normally I avoid doctors at all costs, so I guess I must have been quite ill).

    It turns out that UK phones on a Vodafone contract can’t actually get through to the emergency services in Portugal using 112 – you just get a dialling tone for a minute or so, and then some very confused sounding Portuguese chap. So eventually I draped myself back over the bike and cycled downhill into town (lovely swoopy velvety downhill which I was unable to enjoy properly) and then gave up in a local pharmacy.

    Some lovely people from the local hospital soon arrived, who plugged me into a very fancy portable heart monitor and concluded there was nothing wrong with my heart, and I was just an idiot foreigner who had overcooked themselves. Saline drip in the arm and I was soon right as rain (while being rushed to the general hospital down the road in an ambulance).

    Take home lessons:

    1. Don’t drink ice cold beer on a hot day while riding up a hill.
    2. If I *had* been having a heart attack, the Portuguese emergency services would have done an excellent job of sorting me out.
    3. Learn a bit of the local language next time. The words for “Hospital” and “Ambulance” would have been useful.

    I guess the old adage about sticking to the energy drinks you normally use really does apply. Warm bitter would have been just fine….

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