Two weeks today and my 50th birthday will be upon me!! Spurred on by this I am attempting to complete as many of my challenges as I possibly can. So today, as the weather was perfect for it, Chris dusted off the old girl ( not me), gave her a once over ( again, absolutely not me 😉) and declared her fit for an outing…my trusty bicycle!!
I know how you all like an anecdote…so here is a treat of a one. I have very little cycling experience, but keen on all sport as a child and wanting to be like the rest of the ‘in crowd’ I begged my mum and dad for a chopper ( the must have of bikes in the 70s) when I had well and truly outgrown my old bike. Those bikes were so beautiful, and I knew how cool I would look in my Starsky and Hutch trouser suit and bomber jacket riding one of them…any colour would do. Well Dad said getting me a bike was not a problem and I can remember as clear as anything the anticipation as he came into our back yard pushing….wait for it…..an old, rusty, police mans bike. He promptly gathered some things and took me over the local field, tied a rabbit skin the the back of the bike and shouted go!!! He then let go of Prince ( my beloved pet whippet) who chased after me/the rabbit trail. Unsurprisingly (and disappointingly for my Dad) it did not take long for Prince to catch me, nor did it take long for me to fall off ( I was 10…. Short …and a girl on a mans bike…..OUCH, OUCH AND A BIT MORE OUCH)….I am not saying this incident scarred me but I don’t recall ever having a bike again until my 40th birthday LOL, when Chris thought I needed to get back into the saddle.
In the intervening 10 years I think I have used that bike maybe 5 times. But now I intend to use it much more. My new optimism is based on the fact I have come to the decision that I only intend to cycle on flat surfaces….which I actually really enjoy, AND not on the road as it scares me silly.
Hence my addition of this Challenge to give me the impetus needed to start again and our trip to Hastings today where you can cycle to Bexhill along National Cycle Route 2 without having to venture on to the roads once. There and back took us 1 hour, it was just over 9 miles, beautiful scenery and apparently we burned off 644 calories (unfortunately chips and an ice cream might have nullified any potential loss on the slimming world scales tonight 😱) It would be perfect for beginners and I really loved it (apart from the slight climb into Bexhill); especially enjoyable was the free-wheeling downhill and squealing part.
An added and unexpected bonus was that it is Hastings Old Town Carnival week this week.
Thanks Chris for looking after me and my bicycle. Will I go again before I am 60…..YES….as soon as we find some more flat, off road routes.
SO, if you know of any beginners’ routes that might be suitable please comment and let me know.
PS…I feel it would be wrong not to mention that I could barely get in and out of the car on our return home…..and after typing this I can now just about uncurl my old bones into a standing position….but do I still want to do it again???…….longer pause than before……Yes.