How often have you heard "it's just like riding a bike - you don't forget"
Hah! Turns out you can forget. Not entirely, but you do forget a few things.
Like just how fast these things go, how high you are up off the ground, how to stop.....
That last one especially. When I last rode a bike, 43 years ago, bikes had back-pedal brakes.
Going too fast? Just back-pedal a half turn until the pedals stop and the bike slows down.
Nowadays, most bikes have handbrakes instead, and I'm having a little trouble getting used to them.
On this >>>>
I've ridden it twice so far, just around the driveways and paths of the housing complex.
I can't go out on the roads until I buy a helmet, which I will do on Friday.
Even then it will be some time before I'm game enough to tackle a main road, there's so much more traffic now than there was back then and it moves so much faster.
I'll be sticking to the back roads for quite a while, just riding around the block, then the next block and so on, until I really get comfortable with it.
The bike is a couple of sizes larger than the one I rode 43 years ago, (my feet don't reach the ground...), but I'm not any taller, so stopping and dismounting has been a little awkward.
I'd pull the handbrake lever, the bike would stop too suddenly and I'd jump off the seat, landing with both feet on the ground, one on either side of the bike, trying to keep my balance.
But the last time I stopped, my body remembered something on its own and after pulling more slowly on the brake lever, I tilted the bike to one side and placed one foot on the ground. Yay!! Progress!!
Getting on and starting is no problem at all. Steering around corners is easy enough too, but in a narrow driveway, turning at the end, to go back the other way? Hmmm, seems I've forgotten how to turn a tight circle.
Stop the bike. Get off. Turn it around. Get back on and get going.
I'm sure people are having a giggle watching me. I don't care. I'm loving the feel of the wind in my hair.
And to think I once used to ride a bike without even holding on! (look Mum, no hands!) Around corners and everything! All the way home from school in fact.
I'm looking forward to riding the bike trail along the riverbank once I regain some semblance of competence.
And I'll be buying a basket to hook on the front to carry small items, plus getting a larger basket fitted on to the back so that I can bring home shopping from the nearest supermarket.
I wonder if I should also get rear vision mirrors?
None of which can happen until I buy that helmet....
Here's another view of "The Bike". (she needs a name)
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