by Gwen Baird
This might not be quite what you are thinking!…or there again!
What I am actually talking about is my new found very optimistic and well balanced love of cycling.
I took delivery of my shiny new e-bike last week.
They told me it will be good for me.
They told me it is doable, even with a heart condition.
They told me it will help my aching joints and help me move again with no strain on the joints or my heart.
I thought about it.
I only went and did it!
This bike is a thing of beauty.
When did I last cycle……..cough…
Do I have to tell you….
Well, okay, it has been some years, let’s say, approximately, 26 ish give or take a few!
I am a few pounds (well..okay stones!) heavier! And, a few years wiser!
My first encounter with this e-bike thing was on the drive and it did not quite go to plan.
In my head I was there with my floating dress, straw hat and basket on the front of the bike….. jumping on and off without a thought… ride the 8 miles to the local shop and pick up a few groceries…
Reality! Something different.
Ride number 1.
I tried to get on the bike and right there and then I thought WTF am I doing!
What if I fall off! I am going to hurt myself and I only got the bike to help rid myself of chronic pain.
What if I get hit by a car, or more likely in this neck of the woods, a tractor!
Seriously, what a to do!
24 minutes later I managed to mount the bike (after giving myself a severe talking too!) and tried to get off the drive.
Our drive has a very steep slope at the bottom leading onto the busy (well the only road through the village really) main road. There is a blind corner and more often than not the cars come hurtling around the bend oblivious of the fact that anybody might be there.
However, with the help of my calm and trusting partner I made it onto the main stretch!
We had a few scary moments but did a little ride of just over 2.5 miles!
I was so proud of myself…
Ride number 2.
Pumped up and raring to go, we set off, no problem this time, off the drive in jig time! Yeah! …..Phew…
Done it…. tick!
I was still so paranoid about falling off and hurting myself.
Onwards we go!
Same route as before but this time the intention is to go further.
Gears are now a doddle!
“Look at me…” I said quietly to myself.
Along the road, round the corner and up the hills we went.
Going further this time, in a loop through the next village.
This was the most amazing fun.
No palpitations and no aches in the legs.
Just about to arrive back home, I am remembering to shift down the gears before I stop outside the house.
My mind is racing, ‘come on Gwen, slip down those gears, check behind you, you are turning left into the drive, remember to brake, keep the right speed….’
I am smiling from ear to ear as I turn into the drive (remember that steep hill at the end of the drive I told you about) having just completed my first 4.8 miles, so pleased with myself.
It all went tits up!
Like slow motion and nothing I could do about it!
So near yet so far.
My worst fears came true.
Over I went and the bike with me! Right on the corner.
It did hurt but nothing was broken.
Only a dented ego with a bike on top of me!
What happened I don’t know, guess I forgot to keep pedaling after braking!
To add insult to injury our neighbour was right behind us as he could not get up the drive off the main road. We had to lift the bike off of me before anybody could move.
The e-bike is incredibly heavy!
So there I was, flat out trapped by the bike.
It took the two men to lift the bike and me off the ground!
I was just relieved that I was in one piece.
I thanked dear Fred most kindly for stopping to help — he had no choice really if wanted to get passed!
I walked briskly back to our house, “I’m fine, I’m fine…” I said.
When I looked back there was the other neighbour also waiting to get up the drive!
I couldn’t have planned this if I tried!
At least they all know now!
The funny thing is, my worry of falling off the bike and hurting myself has gone now!
I have done it and I survived!
It may not have been the most delicate of moves I have ever done but all is good!
You know that old saying, — ‘If you fall off your bike you just need to get up and get back on the saddle again.’
I will, very soon!
I am loving being able to move again and being out in nature.
My mission is to ride the route again and stay upright this time!
I will keep you posted.