See! Photographic evidence
Have I mentioned I don't cycle? The last time I sat on a bike was about 20 years ago. I biked a bit when I was growing up, but on quiet roads and not very far. I had a bike for a bit when I first moved to Hunstanton, I remember being freaked out by the traffic and being told off for cycling on the path.
My husband bought me a bike. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It was a white Raleigh; sit up and beg bike with a shopping basket that was supposed to take me to and from work, just down the road. I think I managed a few journeys and then drove. I'm pretty sure my Mother-in-Law ended up with the bike. I didn't miss it. Again, my road craft wasn't good enough and I lacked confidence.
Dave bikes. He has quite a few bikes. I warned him in advance. You're not getting me on the back of a bike. I said. It's not going to happen.
I'm not entirely sure what happened. I still don't remember the thinking that lead to me borrowing a bike to wobble about the road outside of his house. Nor do I remember how he managed to get me all kitted up and got me to do a 2 mile trip. I personally suspect hypnosis. Or magic. I'm pretty sure I am not in my right mind.
I told him I was unfit.
I told him I have no gear.
I told him I am terrified on the open road.
And still, yesterday we went out again.
Personally, I think he's a masochist. Listening to me complain and apologise for the 5 miles to the pub and the 5 miles back home again and having to go at a snail's pace, must have been hell. Especially, knowing that he could have done the same journey in 25 minutes, instead of the *cough* hours it took
He let me ride his Stiffee!
You pervs! This is Dave's Stiffee!
It's a mountain bike made in Vancouver that really is the dogs bollocks (pardon my French). Apparently, it's like me being lent Red Rum to go on a hack. Actually, after my performance yesterday, that's not far from the truth.
I had fun. Even with the whinging and aching and swearing and the going very slowly and stopping often.
It was a lovely day, sunny and warm (but not too warm or windy). He'd chosen a route in the middle of nowhere. There were fields and birds and a wallaby (yes, there really was a wallaby). I realised yesterday how much I miss the outdoors now I don't smoke. There's this whole thing going on outside, which I've not been taking much notice.
It's great. It's changed my mind about the whole exercise malarky. Now I've got something I really want to do, I want to get fitter sooner rather than later so we can do more of that! I liked it. I really did.
What surprised me was that the Stiffee didn't hurt my back at all. The first bike I borrowed was a Pashley Princess. This bike, I'm told is one to cycle round the village with a loaf of bread or a bunch of daffs in the basket, saying "Morning Vicar." It was not the most comfortable and even with a new, wider and padded saddle, it didn't do my back much good.
The Stiffee had it's own discomforts, my knees come up quite high, which means I have to work a bit and the grips were hard on my hands. But it was still brilliant to ride. It's not the bike's fault I'm rubbish.
We are looking around for my own bike, which I'm gently excited about. Knowing myself as I do, I'd like to get a lot more proficient before I part with cold-hard cash. My resources to fund whims are diminishing. If I continue to have fun biking then it will be worth the money and then some.