This morning my right elbow is black, with the surrounding areas grey, and my right leg lacerated with cuts and bruises.
Yes, yesterday I lost my cycling virginity. I crashed! Or rather fell over, my feet still strapped to the pedals.
As a road cycling newbee I'm still not used to the concept of having my feet permanently strapped to the pedals, which is why, as I came to a grinding halt at a junction, I attempted to lift my feet up and realised, in horror, that they would not budge. Cue the fall. I went over on to my right side and lay on the tarmac like a beached whale, as the inhabitants of two cars, a van, a motor bike and a lorry delivering milk shakes looked on.
It may have looked dramatic to them. It might have even looked disturbing. But I bet, more than this, it just looked down right funny, especially as I finally managed to extricate my feet from my pedals and jumped up pretending that it had never happened.
Try looking cool in a cycle top that does not nothing for a, er, fuller figure, shorts that challenge my manhood and a leg with blood pouring down it having just lay on the ground still connected to a bike, writhing around like freshly-caught fish!
Anyway, I cycle on! And on.
Over the past few days I've been completing a couple of rides a day and have managed to get up to 40 miles so far, which is half the distance I'll be covering - hopefully - from Perugia to Siena next Wednesday in the lovely, rolling and, from my point of view, unwelcome hills of Tuscany.
The weather is hardly helping. Only Mad Dogs and English cyclists go out in weather like this but needs must. By the time I join up with the boys they'll be all finely-honed Lance Armstrongs whilst I'll be more like Louis Armstrong!
And so the quest continues. One week to go for me! More rides, more crashes, more making an idiot of myself. And you know what? I'm beginning to enjoy myself.
Halfords is the Official Cycling Partner of the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam 2012, supported by Virgin Media. For more information and to donate, visit dallaglioflintoff2012.com