Cycling Widow’s SURVIVAL GUIDE – Sneak Peek 1

The Cycling Widows Survival GuideIn the run-up to the publication of Cycling Widows 2, I’m releasing a free ebook called The Cycling Widow’s Survival Guide.  As you may know, this is another one of my satirical offerings and comes complete with a Revenge Toolkit and Agony Aunt column.

The ebook will be out next weekend (Sunday, 24th May, to be precise), so if you’re eager for more, why not read the blurb below along with a Sneak Peek? The extract I’m posting today is from the start of the Revenge Toolkit, and I’ll be giving you a Sneak Peek at the Agony Aunt column during the week, before the launch…


A free ‘lifeline’ ebook

If you’re a Cycling Widow, desperately wondering
How to survive living with an obsessive cyclist –
Fear not! Here are your answers!

From the author of Cycling Widows comes this equally-satirical Survival Guide, designed with both the new & seasoned Cycling Widow in mind. Incorporating a handy Revenge Toolkit and dedicated Agony Aunt column, it’s full of coping mechanisms and satisfying tactics to counteract the suffering unwittingly inflicted by a spouse with OCD (Obsessive Cycling Disorder). 


Fun Coping Mechanisms for the Cycling Widow

Feeling angry that your spouse’s cycling ‘hobby’ has taken over both your lives over the years – all without sign of let-up?  Depressed about your lot as an unpaid soigneur who’s continually taken for granted? Then know this is the kind of sentiment that is shared by many a Cycling Widow the world over – and you are not alone.

The real question is: how do you cope when the going gets tough and you’re feeling at a loss? Well, rather than winding yourself up into a violent frenzy, why not try some of the ‘passive-aggressive revenge tactics’ below on your other half? With them, you can have a little fun at his expense whilst lightening your feelings of helplessness.

You’ll notice as you read that these tools are revenge tactics of a different kind – you can usually carry them out without fear of detection, and since they are more proactive than reactive, you’ll find them far more satisfying than other short-term ‘hate campaigns’ such as furiously cutting the sleeves off your hubby’s cycling tops or feeding his bicycle into the garden mulcher.

DISCLAIMER/WARNING: this Revenge Toolkit contains highly flippant material and should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Bear in mind that some of the tactics herein may contain elements of danger in one form or another and I can take no responsibility for how or if you use them, or for a revenge tactic-gone-wrong! (Obviously, I can’t be seen to condone such activities for real, so I suggest that, for maximum safety and entertainment value, you just imagine doing them!)

In any case, should you choose to deploy any of these stratagem, know that, one way or another, they will serve to put grit in the shoe of your beloved’s prized cycling ‘hobby’. But none other than this first, aptly-named technique…


Ever been out for a walk or jog only to be continually bugged by some teeny tiny bit of grit in your shoe that you just don’t seem to be able to pinpoint or get rid of, even if you keep taking your shoe off and shaking it about? Well, this is exactly the feeling you’re going to give your cycling spouse when he next goes out on the bike. And what better time could there be to target this trick than his weekend club run (or other lengthy bike ride)?

Make preparations the night before the ride. You will need to hand: one cycling shoe; a pair of tweezers; a magnifying glass (optional); one or two small, clean pieces of grit; a tube of super-bond glue; a pair of protective gloves (not woolly ones); and a peg (optional).

Here’s what to do… Pull the insole out of one of your partner’s cycling shoes and place it on a flat surface. (Note: in the interests of hygiene, do not place on a kitchen unit. Keep peg handy to put on nose in case of smells emanating from insole.) Take a piece of grit and apply a small blob of glue. Use protective gloves and tweezers so as to avoid getting any glue on your hand (a magnifying glass can also be useful at this point).

Next, place the gluey grit on the insole. I suggest you put this at the front of the shoe, nearer to where his toes will be, for two reasons: firstly, the grit will be harder for your hubby to get at; and secondly, when he pedals, it will dig in all the more.

Repeat this step once or twice more, at your discretion. Ensure the pieces of grit aren’t too large. Remember, where grit is concerned, less is more. A number of smaller pieces can really drive one to distraction, whereas a single large piece is easier to identify and remove.

Lastly, ensure the insole is well glued to the inside of the cycling shoe, so your partner won’t be able to take it out and deal with the grit head-on. With the grit safely in place, your beloved will come to associate his rides with a background feeling of irritation rather than pleasure.

A few words of warning… Ensure you prepare this tactic well in advance of a ride. Attempt it just before a ride and things could go tits-up. For a start off, if the glue is still sticky, your husband’s cycling sock will likely adhere to the insole. Or, if he’s gone barefoot, it’ll be his toes which get stuck fast instead. And super-bond glues are renowned for their lack of kindness when attempting to remove glued items from the skin. An afternoon spent in a hospital emergency unit with your husband, along with other noisy children who’ve shoved crayons up their nose or got pans stuck on their head, may not be what you had envisaged post-ride.

You also need to give the glue time to dry thoroughly. Go back and check that the grit is securely affixed to the insole well in advance of your husband’s ride. Take care to use the glue sparingly. Should your spouse manage to remove the insole and find the grit, a blobby surplus of glue will only reek of sabotage, with its ugly, accusing finger pointing in your direction (although, this is where having kids comes in handy, as you could use them as a scapegoat).

A technique which acts as a conniving ‘sidekick’ to grit in the shoe is the grit-in-the-sock trick. What you do here is insert tiny particles of grit into an otherwise clean pair of socks. Pop these on top of the pile inside your hubby’s sock drawer for easy access the morning of his ride. Whilst out cycling, the small bits of grit will act like sand in your beloved’s toes on a day at the beach – you just can’t seem to get rid of it, no matter how hard you try. Your spouse may stop off somewhere and shake the niggly bits from his sock, thinking the problem is solved. However, even if he manages to get rid of all the gritty particles, he still now has the glued grit in his shoe to give him a confusing headache. Imagine how aggravating it will be for him as he repeatedly stops and starts, taking his cycling shoes on and off all morning, only to be continually confounded when trying to isolate the source of his irritation. Exasperated won’t begin to describe his mood. By the time his ride’s over, he’ll be acting like a woman with raging pre-menstrual tension and will probably have made a few enemies within his cycling club to boot.


A variation on the theme of irritation is the use of itching powder. You can probably buy this online these days (although I’d advise against this as your hubby may spot the evidence of said purchase on the credit card statement) but when I was a kid, you could easily get this from the joke section of our local children’s toy shop (always pay in cash so as to avoid the aforementioned incriminating paper trail).

Targeting areas such as the armpit of your hubby’s club top or the crotch of his cycling shorts are likely to do the most damage with the least amount of powder, thus leaving you a portion for use on another future occasion.

A few words of warning… Ensure you keep the powder away from children. Also, take care to wear protective clothing, goggles and gloves when applying itching powder, and beware to use only a judicious amount. My advice in this regard may sound alarmist, but consider this unsavoury story I heard many years ago at school…


If you know anyone living with a ‘cyclomaniac’, please pass on the link to this blog. I’m sure they’ll enjoy reading it.

I’ll be posting another Sneak Peek at the Survival Guide this week – this time it’ll be taken from the Agony Aunt column. And if you missed the last blog, also note that FREEBIE MONDAY starts next week, so tune in for a free read of chapter 1 from CYCLING WIDOWS (Lifting the Veil on Living with an Obsessive Cyclist).

Remember to put the book launch date in your diary – Sunday 24th May. Or subscribe to/follow the blog so as not to miss out on the news.

See you soon!

Alannah Foley





About Alannah Foley

Alannah Foley... aka 'The Pyjama Writer' Author of Light Mysteries, Short Fiction, Travel Tales, and more... To find out more go to
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