Do you realise it’s over two months since I reported the exciting news of a new addition to our family?! Yes indeedy, and as I enter into the third month of the purchasement (not a real word but it sure as heck should be) of my little silver bike, I thought I’d mark the occasion by giving you an update on how we’re muddling along together (it could be worse RP, I could be writing about walking and I know much you enjoy those posts…..)
Since I made my first shaky venture out on the mean machine I’ve clocked up just over one hundred miles, had a near fatal encounter involving an undone shoe lace and bike pedal, slammed the garage door down on top of it, blissfully unaware that this act had twisted the handlebars back to front until I started cycling down the street, and joined a month long ‘Love to Cycle’ scheme at work, where I believe I finished in a respectable third place in our department for most miles clocked up.
I’ve been papped at by drivers (and not in a ‘ooh she looks fit, I must show my appreciation’ way either), I’ve swerved into the back of a car at a roundabout whilst looking at other traffic (no harm done, I paid ten pounds extra for ergonomic handlebars that are extremely soft), I’ve had a car pull out right in front of me, the driver waving his thanks as though I’d had some say in the matter, I’ve sat at work all day with ‘helmet hair’ and a red mark across my forehead from my hat and I’ve been overtaken uphill by cyclists who look at least twice my age.
Some of my trips have been agony, a combination of my cycling immaturity (that’s lack of fitness to you) and the wind constantly whistling in my face have had me in tears of frustration and almost turning round and coming home several times but I’ve stuck at it because….well because I’m bloody stubborn really and won’t endure the personal humiliation of admitting defeat.
You might well wonder why I’m telling you all this, I’m not exactly selling the joys of bike riding am I? Well the other day, I cycled home from work in the scorching heat, convinced I would peg out half way due to dehydration or sun stroke (it’s a five mile journey, I really need to stop being such a drama queen). I was jubilant that I’d survived such hostile weather conditions and waxed lyrical to Pud for ten minutes about how it was my favourite journey from work yet, how I’d taken my time in the heat, how I’d walked my bike across a tricky crossing rather than piling into the back of another car, how I’d negotiated the roundabout into our village without anyone papping me.
When I’d finally finished my monologue, Pud asked if I was finding cycling an enjoyable experience and when I thought about it I realised that me and the mean machine have been on quite a journey since April. I’ve cycled around beautiful parts of Leicester far quicker than my little legs could ever take me if I walked, I’ve ventured out of the house in shorts for the first time in years (no papping that day, appreciative or otherwise), at long, long last I can cycle up hills without throwing a hissy fit of frustration and I actually feel rather brilliant when I’ve completed a bike ride.
These days, every other person seems to be running naked up a snowy mountain or throwing themselves out of a plane without a parachute to raise money for charity and sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that everyone has their own personal challenge, and however big or small it seems in the grand scheme of things, it’s no less of a challenge to the individual concerned. Mine was to get to a point where I found cycling enjoyable rather than a painful endurance and I knew it would be hard but in answer to Pud’s question……
….I’m bloody loving it!