Monday, May 06, 2013

Adventures on a Bicycle


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 us me. Well, it serves him right. No good deed goes unpunished.

He let me ride his Stiffee!



You pervs! This is Dave's Stiffee!


Tee hee!

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.

22 comments:

  1. Very good - and most amusing. Biking is brilliant at whatever level you do it. I thought I was quite bike fit but Z's son in law does 100 miles in about 5 hours.
    You could cycle the Marriots Way next.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks very much. I think Marriots Way is on the list, but my roadcraft has to improve lots before I get to go on the Drayton Road.

      Yes, well, I'm not even going to talk about your experience or Z's son-in-law. I'd be tempted to stay in bed and never get out of it.

      You guys are scary good.

      Delete
  2. I'd say most (98%+) of the bicyclists around here largely ignore traffic rules. Especially driving in the wrong lane, running traffic lights, ignoring stop signs. But then again, since this is the home of Lance Armstrong, they must think the rules don't apply to them.

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    1. Yeah, there are some cyclists around here who think they're bloody immortal and that the rules of the road don't apply. They cycle around in dark clothing, no lights, run red lights, hop from pavement to road and back again. I swear often about them.

      I don't want to end up under the wheels of a car either.

      Delete
  3. Crikey!

    I mean: Bloody well done! You've almost got me thinking that I should pull by dusty old bike out of the shed. Sadly its not a stiffee...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, I know. Me on a bike. Who'd have thought eh?

      Go on, get on yer bike...if it's been that long since you rode it...you'll be stiff for sure! ;)

      xxx

      Delete
  4. One day I will be able to afford a Patria, with a little electric helper ...

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    1. Well, they look the biz. I don't know enough about bikes to know how good (or bad, or indifferent) they are.

      I'd have loved an electric motor on the way back...

      Delete
  5. Very impressive! I haven't ridden a bike for decades. It's great exercise and I'd quite like to take it up again but Jenny is convinced I'd be mown down by a lorry and is putting up stiff resistance.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The way my butt feels, it's not at all impressive. I'm sticking with it though.

      I suppose I'm lucky living here, we're 5 minutes away to winding country roads with little traffic. I would not be so amenable if we were very urban. I don't have the nerves for it.

      Delete
  6. I can't get over the fact they actually called it a Stiffee!

    I used to ride a pushbike when I was a kidlet. I lived on it. Pretended it was a horse. Tied baling twine to the handle bars as reins. ;)

    About 10 years ago Mboy thought we needed to get fit, and went and bought us 2 mountain bikes. Well! I think I rode that thing once!

    Can't believe how fit I must've been as a kid.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Tell me about it! That joke never gets old. Apparently, the same company makes another type of bike called Hand Job. I kid you not.

      I'm beginning to be able to say "I'm getting a lot of mileage on that joke"....waka waka waka!

      Yeah, I know what you mean. We didn't think about it zooming around and around when we were small. I'm pretty sure I wasn't fit then either.

      Delete
  7. i want a bike, too! but i think it'll just be a beach cruiser for easy riding around here. xoxoxoxo

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    1. Cruising suits my way of thinking. I'm not at all a speed freak.

      Nothing chasing me, why go fast?
      xxx

      Delete
  8. Good for you! Now that the snow is finally gone from the Great White North, I will get my bike out of the shed, pump the tires and hit the road. There's a lovely ride on River Rd (along the Red River) to Lower Fort Garry that's great on a Sunday morning going for breakfast at the Fort restaurant.

    I once saw a guy get pulled over for speeding on his gazillion speed bike in the city. Ha! Guess he figured because he wasn't motorized, the cops wouldn't ticket him. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It always sounds so exotic when you describe the Great White North.

      I bet if you told me the miles you go, I'd fall over. Ah well. Baby steps.

      Now the snow's buggered off, I hope you enjoy your biking expeditions. Will you take your camera out?

      No cop will ever be pulling me over for speeding. Apparently, my balance is really good. I went so slow Dave struggled to stay upright on his bike! ;/

      Delete
  9. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was about 30. My daughter had reached the age where just cycling round the park while I watched wasn't enough and I had to get on a bike so we could cycle places together.

    I don't mind cycling in the countryside. I hate cycling on roads. I can't indicate without wobbling alarmingly and I am sort of convinced that I am just going to keel over sideways into the path of an oncoming bus.

    Well done, you! Both for cycling and managing to look stylish in a high-visibility vest.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello CList!

      Well done for learning and for being able to indicate. I daren't even let go of the handlebars.

      Umm...not so sure about stylish. Visible is the best that can be said.

      Delete
  10. Cycling to Bungay is a perfect distance, about a mile and a half. Even I'm not puffed at that! Once, I did 19 miles. It was when my hip was really bad, admittedly, but it took me a week to get over it!

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    1. I am truly not worthy. 19 miles! With your painful hip!

      You are amazing. We were supposed to be going out this weekend, it looks like it'll be too windy for baby bikers.

      Delete
  11. I got back on a bike last year for the first time in about 20 years too. We cycled around the New Forest and I loved it, after initially being terrified. But I'm very wary of cycling on the road - through a forest where the only traffic is horses isn't the same - so I haven't taken it up again properly.

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    1. I totally understand what you mean about the empty road.

      And no, there's no way I'm biking around this city.

      It's not nice, pleasant and people are nuts!

      Delete

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