Cycling Diva

16 Jul

Getting a bike today – at last!

I have been after a bike for the past twenty years.  Not enough to demand one for Christmas, or to steal one hanging around outside the corner shop, but I’ve always fancied another go.  However, circumstances have now made getting a bike an imperative:

  • We have been putting £5 a week of petrol in the car for about ten years, but it has become so expensive, that barely gets us to the end of the road.  The bike will pay for itself in unused petrol and/or bus fares within a couple of months.
  • The Hub is finding it more and more difficult to do things, and can’t be wasting his energy in running me about.
  • I’ve become aware of diabetes.  I may not have mentioned that I like to eat and I have a sweet tooth.  Several of my friends of a similar age and approach to chocolate have come down with Type-2.  Plus, I’m at an age where I need to be wary of developing heart disease.  If I ride a bike I can keep eating and my body won’t know.*

* Just had a cryptic message from my arteries, telling me I’m an idiot.  I wonder what that’s about?

I almost had a bike last year: a free one was offered to me but it was about the size of a penny farthing and I couldn’t get on it.  The new bike cost £25 but it should fit, if we’ve measured correctly.  We bought it online so I haven’t tried it out yet.

I ordered the Hub to trawl the internet for a secondhand bike.  It had to be cheap and old: there’s a good chance I will decide that cycling is not for such as the likes of I, just like swimming, rowing, running and aerobics.  Plus, it is less likely to be stolen; and the damage won’t matter when I fall off.  It took months to find one because my demands were many: I am the J-Lo of the Stockport Cycling Community, and I have the backside to prove it.  As well as cheap and old, it had to be a proper girl’s bike with no crossbar, and a basket.  The basket was a must, a deal breaker.  My new bike has almost everything I demanded.  The Hub is going to buy a basket for me on eBay.

After what’s been going on in the Tour de France this week, I have to say I am a little relieved not to be a cyclist just yet.  I haven’t ridden a bike for over thirty years; I hope I remember how to do it.  I can just see the Hub holding onto the saddle and running alongside me; and then the boys holding onto the Hub’s coffin and me cycling alongside it. 

He says I don’t have to worry about not knowing what to do; it will be just like riding a bike.

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65 Responses to “Cycling Diva”

  1. vivienne Blake July 16, 2011 at 09:31 #

    Great news. I wish I hadn’t given my beautiful not-very-old-sized-for-this-midget bike away, you could have had it for free. A tip: instead of a basket, get panniers for the rear wheel – you can get an awful lot more shopping in, and it won’t destabilise the handlebars as much as a full basket can. If possible, get front panniers as well, then your bike will be more stable still. I used to do all my weekly shopping on a bike with panniers, in Wolverhampton, so up and down hills.

    Like

  2. musings July 16, 2011 at 10:02 #

    I had to get on a bike on our trip to Holland. My husband thought it would be great to be cycling through fields of tulips. #1 no tulips. They were in farms or at the gardens. However, I was able to get on that bike and move. Yup! You can do it for sure!

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 16, 2011 at 11:42 #

      No tulips? What a sad dream killer.

      Thanks for the vote of confidence 🙂

      Like

  3. Ron. July 16, 2011 at 10:52 #

    Bon Chance, Belle Amie! Let me know when you’re ready to go, & I’ll come over and smash a bottle of bubbly on yer helmet.

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 16, 2011 at 11:44 #

      Ron, I know you mean well, but round here that’s a cue for the Saturday night riot 🙂

      Like

  4. barb19 July 16, 2011 at 12:08 #

    Good on ya for getting a bike Tilly! I’ve had one for years and I still love it! Carried the kids round on the back of one when they were little – got the legs muscles to prove it!

    Like

  5. mairedubhtx July 16, 2011 at 12:17 #

    Good luck with the bike. They are dangerous here, the way drivers don’t seem to care about them, even though we have bike lanes.

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 16, 2011 at 17:18 #

      It’s the same here; I’ll be going around the quiet streets until I get some confidence.

      Like

  6. gobetweenflames July 16, 2011 at 13:19 #

    I often think back how I enjoyed riding my bike as a teen and wonder if I could still do it. It’s the wreckless drivers and the taxi drivers which put me off the idea. I sure could use the excercise.

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 16, 2011 at 17:23 #

      That’s why I’ve taken so long to get one.

      Like

  7. Debbie July 16, 2011 at 13:57 #

    Happy trails!

    Like

  8. mamamash July 16, 2011 at 14:42 #

    That first pic, ouch! I enjoyed riding bicycles as a kid, but I was eight before I learned how! These days, I’m so clumsy I’m scared I’ll fall into traffic. Good luck with it!

    Like

  9. nrhatch July 16, 2011 at 15:51 #

    I started riding after an absence of 30 years too. I love it! Hope you will too.

    If you’re interested:
    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/lets-go-fly-a-bike/

    Like

  10. gigihawaii July 16, 2011 at 16:19 #

    I had 2 very nasty falls while riding a bike: 1) when I was a teenager my bike collapsed on a water hose in the yard, and 2) when I was in my 50s my bike ran into someone’s car door. I haven’t ridden a bike since then!

    My daughter bought an expesnive $600 bike, parked it in front of the college library, and when she came back out, saw that her lock had been cut and the bike stolen.

    So, good luck on your venture, Tilly! I am rooting for ya!

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:22 #

      Perhaps she should have spent the same amount on a lock 😦

      Like

  11. Susan in SC July 16, 2011 at 17:01 #

    Just bought my 2 boys new bikes and wanted to get one for myself! Your post struck a chord in me as I would like to have a bike too!

    Like

  12. edshunnybunny July 16, 2011 at 17:09 #

    Congrats on getting the bike! I got one as a gift from hubby at Christmas. It had been about 20 years since I’d last ridden one at age 35. It’s still fun–and yes, I got a basket, too 🙂

    Like

  13. Kim Nelson July 16, 2011 at 17:15 #

    I rode 8-10 miles a day, every day, quite a while back. That was a multi-geared racing type of bike. I gave it to one of my daughters when she went to college. I’ve been yearning for another bike lately. I live to far from shops and businesses to use it the wise way you’ve planned, but I think I’d like to wander down the desert roads every now and again.

    Like

  14. Paula Tohline Calhoun July 16, 2011 at 18:19 #

    You and Nancy! When that transoceanic bridge gets built some time next year, decade, century, or millenium, the two of you can meet half way.

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:27 #

      I’ve never heard of that bridge! Is it being mooted on your side of the pond?

      Like

      • Paula Tohline Calhoun July 18, 2011 at 21:09 #

        I posted this reply to your comment on “The Anvil” but failed to put give it to you. Here it is, and it’s a long one:

        The Trans-Oceanic Bridge (Atlantic project #1a) will have to be anchored on both sides. The EU is required to pay for at least half of it! Greece was one of the largest investors, but unfortunately most of that money was withdrawn. . .don’t know just why – something to do with the Olympics?

        Anyway, for now the plans are tabled. The civil engineers and architects are squabbling over whether to make the rest stops large enough for motels or just parking lots so people can stop and enjoy the ocean views, and perhaps nap in their cars. A floating bridge was nixed from the very beginning – apparently the storms can get quite violent. Icebergs could also present a problem, and the Titanic disaster is still fresh on the minds of many, thanks to James Cameron. And there was some concern about whether it would be stable enough for the “Cooper Minis” or cyclists to ride on. (Plans are being made for a “bicycles only” lane to be constructed at a later date.) The US Coastguard has opted out. The bridge is not considered a coast by their definition.

        Also, a huge argument has ensued over exactly where to switch the driving regulations from left side to right side driving. Some compromise was considered. There was a proposal that a left-side bypass branch off to GB, while the main artery joined up with the English Channel bridge/tunnel.

        There has been an argument between naturalists and industrial capitalists over whether the rest stops will include fishing piers or not. The franchise rights for renting fishing poles, and whale-landing gear could be quite profitable. McDonald’s and Burger King have expressed interest, although a number of fish and chips shops have also weighed in; however, even Japanese businesses are interested – sushi bars would certainly offer a wide variety of really fresh fish, but the cost of shipping the sticky rice might be prohibitive.

        Perhaps the biggest road block has come from the political arena. Certain land-locked countries are demanding the super highway extend all the way to their own countries, but “no-fly” zones would have to be “no-drive” zones, which would sort of make the whole thing moot.

        I’ll let you know as further bulletins are issued. I can’t figure out why you’ve never heard of this. Doesn’t the British press publish more than the latest royal scandals? Or more of the “truth” from Rupert Murdoch?

        As a side note – the Hiltons are not interested in a Bridge Hotel franchise. There wouldn’t be enough room for Paris to strut her stuff, and of course no red carpet to accommodate her needs.

        For the latest news on the plans, “The Anvil” is planning a two-page spread on the project (at least I think so. I haven’t informed the editor about it yet).

        So, there you have it. . .

        Like

  15. Kasi July 16, 2011 at 18:22 #

    That first picture looks so painful…I can’t ride a bike. I had a wreck when I was 10 and I never got back on one…Scary! BUT I hope you enjoy yours! (Found your blog from Six Word Saturday!)

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:28 #

      The pic is from this year’s Tour de France.

      Like

  16. colonialist July 16, 2011 at 19:18 #

    The bicycle is the best invention ever. It is a truly magic thing, converting equivalent amounts of walking or running energy into covering lots of territory. Reminds me – I must try and get out and about on mine more often. Setback – the area is VERY hilly! Riding is such a pleasure in most of the UK, which only has play-hills.

    Like

  17. Pseu July 16, 2011 at 20:23 #

    Excellent. I would also advise getting a decent rucksack (ideally with a frame that hold the rucksack off your back ,allowing sweat to evaporate!) – a day pack rucksack can carry quite a lot and can be packed int eh shop as you buy.

    I have two bikes. One (much older one) that I can take over rough ground and another which is a posher road bike.

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:30 #

      A two-bike nurse…posh 🙂

      Like

    • vivienne Blake July 17, 2011 at 10:33 #

      I second that – I used a rucksack as well as the panniers when I’d got used to biking again. But Tilly, take it one step at a time!

      Like

      • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:40 #

        Will do. I was going to cycle to church this morning (twelve-minute uphill walk), but the Hub took one look at my dry-heaving bosom and advised against it.

        Like

  18. sanstorm July 16, 2011 at 20:48 #

    I am wanting a bike too. But watch out for using thigh muscles if it has been as long for you as it has been for me!

    Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance: the five stages of buying petrol.

    Like

  19. Janie's Place July 16, 2011 at 21:54 #

    One summer I had the brilliant idea (during the Wichita years) to ride my bicycle the 2 miles to work on account that we had just one car, and the automobile shuffle would otherwise have gotten me to work a half hour early for my shift and picked me up an hour after my shift ended.

    Unfamiliar with Wichita? It’s basically 105 degrees with 100% humidity 4 months out of the year. 3 of the remaining 8 months it’s 90 degrees with 100% humidity. My brilliant idea lasted through 2 work days before accepting the fact that the benefit of the exercise factor and time saved did not outweigh the total impracticality of arriving to work in a posh floral and gift boutique on the verge of heat stroke, positively beat red, sweaty and smelly. Well, maybe the flowers masked my smell.

    Anyway, I gave it up, played the automobile shuffle, stayed cool and crisp in the glorious Air Conditioning, read a lot of books while waiting and made $50 USD on the sale of the bicycle.

    Hopefully your experiment will fair better.

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:33 #

      lol! We’ll never beat global warming while we have such natural warming 🙂

      Like

  20. kateshrewsday July 16, 2011 at 22:25 #

    I think bikes are very cool: but I haven’t ridden one properly for twenty years or so. I read Nancy’s post and now I read yours: wonder if someone is trying to tell me something 🙂

    Like

  21. Big Al July 16, 2011 at 23:16 #

    “Cycling Diva” now, huh? Can “Biker Chick” be far behind?

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:38 #

      Been there, done that. On the back of one, anyway. And over the front, once, when I tried riding one myself. 🙂

      Like

  22. Self Sagacity July 17, 2011 at 00:05 #

    The first photo looks so ouch- y. Visiting from SWS.

    Come & Play: Thursday Two Questions

    Like

  23. Becca July 17, 2011 at 01:04 #

    I bought a bike a short time ago but it ended up being a bit too tall for me so I never ride it! Good luck with your new bike!

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:40 #

      That was another condition: seat as close to the ground as possible 🙂

      Like

  24. Cindy July 17, 2011 at 08:33 #

    Good luck, enjoy it!

    Like

  25. Call Me Cate July 17, 2011 at 14:18 #

    Enjoy your new bike! It’s so hot here that I’ve wimped out about riding mine but I have great plans for it once Fall arrives. Like you, I’m starting to think about things like diabetes. Time to do somethign about it.

    Thanks for playing 6WS!

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 18, 2011 at 22:56 #

      It’s great fun, and at last I have something to write from for the weekend.

      Like

  26. Perfecting Motherhood July 18, 2011 at 06:13 #

    Haha, I love the bike with the shopping cart/trolley!

    I’m teaching my son to ride his bike without his training wheels right now. I’ll admit it, it’s a lot harder to teach that than to ride a stinking bike. My back isn’t liking it…

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 18, 2011 at 22:59 #

      One of the drawbacks of being a mum, I’m afraid.

      Like

  27. earlybird July 18, 2011 at 09:52 #

    I am concerned to read you are getting a bike.

    I hope you outlive it.

    Yours sincerely

    Like

  28. eof737 July 18, 2011 at 10:14 #

    That photo is gruesome… Hope you enjoy your biking life. 😦

    Like

  29. sarsm July 19, 2011 at 21:44 #

    I also hadn’t ridden my bike for several *cough* years and took to the saddle again after moving to Germany.

    My recommendations are a comfy saddle and bike shorts (the ones stuffed with foam).

    I have fallen off a few times but I aim for fields and other soft landings… 😉

    Like

    • Tilly Bud July 20, 2011 at 11:18 #

      Not many fields in Stockport, so I’ll try to avoid falling off 🙂

      Like

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