have helmet..will travel

although not too far as it turns out....I think I'm going to be more than a little achy in the morning.

I bought the helmet this morning, kid sized, to fit my kid sized head, then spent a good part of the day psyching myself up to ride around the block instead of staying inside the complex.

I rode out of the driveway, turned onto the footpath with no trouble at all, ha ha! this is easy!
Negotiated the first corner into the very quiet back street and decided to ride this bit on the road, not the footpath. I made it safely past the first back street intersection, continued on to the next one, which was a major cross street.
No traffic was coming, so I turned in and rode towards the "big" intersection.
The one with traffic lights.

Shouldn't be a problem, this is easy, right? And I've been practising stopping.....

But this street has a slight downward slope...the traffic light was red, and in spite of my practising, my first instinct is still to back-pedal-brake. 
Naturally that didn't work, so I pulled on the handbrake while steering into the gutter, so I could rest my foot on the kerb while waiting for the light to change.

Miscalculated just a tad....uh oh! ....tilt...reach for the gutter....crash!....smack!! ....that was my knee and both palms smacking the footpath.
Oh shit! I got myself off the ground and the woman in the car next to me leaned out and asked if I needed help.
I said No, thanks, but maybe I should get some L plates.
We both laughed a bit and she drove on.

I walked the bike across the intersection, then continued my ride.
On the footpath. 
At every corner, I practised stopping.
I went around that block, then turned for home.

Oh F***, this is ever-so-slightly uphill now........pedal, pedal, pedal....stop and rest.
Pedal, pedal, pedal...stop and rest.

I made it home, locked up the bike, then washed the dust off my knee and hands and decided I needed icecream, to cool off and calm down.

Wouldn't you know it? I was out of icecream!  This will never do!
I'd have to go to the shop.....which I did, but walking, not riding.

I'll take a shorter ride tomorrow, keep to the back streets, avoid traffic light intersections.
I'm determined to get the hang of this!


  1. Take care...... it's not the falling that's the hard part, it's the landing.

  2. I nearly rode into the lake when I started cycling again a few years ago.

  3. I'm so glad you didn't get hurt. You are right in taking it slow though. Is there a path nearby you can practice on.

    My youngest child doesn't even fit into a child size helmet! He inherited my giant head:)

    All the best for 2012.

  4. these dang kids..always riding flat out on the footpaths....LOL When I had my bike I rode on the paths too, so much safer

  5. Brave woman, you are. Keep to the footpaths and tracks... Glad you survived that first fall...!!!!

  6. Mrs Dump - AdelaideDecember 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Good for you River - what a fantastic attitude you have! Hang in there, and you'll be whizzing around the roads in no time.
    wv is creca - is that the noise that your knee made after the fall?

  7. Delores; you're right, the landing is the hardest part.

    Andrew; At least a lake would be a softer landing, with the added advantage of washing away the "panic" burst of sweat.

    Sarah, there are bike paths reasonably close, but to get to them I'd have to ride along very busy main roads and cross a couple of large intersections.

    Tempo; I'll be sticking to the footpaths now for a while, that way if I feel I'm falling I can grab the nearest fence.

    Christine; I'm glad I survived too. The riding part is fine, it's the stopping that I'm having trouble with and I'm not even riding fast.

    Mrs Dump - Adelaide; welcome to drifting. I think my whizzing days are well and truly over, daily sedate exercise riding is the go from now on.
    "creca" that was my hip a few hours later
    Where in Adelaide are you? Nth, Sth, East, West, City?

  8. Good on you River!! I had just ridden my bike yesterday on a real road!! After it was given to me 10 years ago as a X'mas pressies. We cycled to Woolworths a 19km roundtrip. Had a bike clash as well but luckily no one was injured.
    HAPPY 2012!!

  9. I reckon you bit off more than you could chew with your death defying antics. Glad you weren't to badly injured, maybe be just your pride was. Take it one day at a time and before you know it you'll be riding in marathons. Happy New Year :-).

  10. Yay! Good on you!
    Stick to the footpaths, way safer.
    I still back-pedal on my bike for the brake (my excuse is that the teen's BMX has pedal brakes) lol.
    Adjust the bike seat, make it lower so your feet touch the ground when you're sitting.

  11. Wow. So brave. And I am very, very happy that you were not much damaged.
    My last bike had back pedal brakes too. And no gears.
    Good luck with tomorrow's ride - at least on New Year's day the roads will be quiet.

  12. I've just left the same suggestion as Jayne on an earlier post. You need to be able to put your feet flat on the ground.

    And get an artist to write 'Serenity' on her, she deserves it.

    WV is 'shrorsh' the sound of River getting up to speed down a steep hill and rounding a corner.

  13. Happy new year darlings.
    I will be among the riff-raff: low and vulgar, but with you in my heart.


  14. drb; 10 years before you got onto a real road! That's a lot of practise!

    Windsmoke; I often bite off more than I can chew. It's either that or stay glued to my chair.

    Jayne; the seat is already down as low as it will go. Trouble is...the bike itself is too large. For my feet to touch the ground I would have to have a kid sized bike.

    EC; I miss back-pedal brakes. I didn't know they still made them, every bike I see has gears and handbrakes wires.

    JahTeh; she already has Serene, so I'll leave it at that. Feet on the ground would be a great idea.

    R.H. Happy New Year to you too.

  15. JahTeh; it does look as though the seat should go down further, but son-in-law and grandson both tried and it wouldn't budge. I'll ask them to try again next time I see them, maybe they have to loosen the screw more...
    I'm getting the hang of it though, took a shorter ride today, practised stopping and landing my foot on the ground, no falls this time!

  16. You are a braver woman than I am. I fear riding bicycles. It's not that I can't - I just don't trust the crazy Melbourne drivers.

    You will do this - I know it.


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