no prizes for guessing what I got for Christmas

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 >>>>

>>> beautiful machine that my kids gave me two days ago.

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)

There is definitely going to be NO night riding.


  1. She looks like a Hortense to me. Don't forget to get a good lock.

  2. What great kids you have. And persistence.
    I could imagine someone talking to their bike and mumbling "let's go, Petal" as they ride off into the wind.

  3. Woohoooo!
    Ride on the footpaths as much as possible - I know it's technically illegal but there are so many cyclists riding on footpaths these days no one gets fined.
    And it's waaaaaay safer - I only ride on the footpath, behind hubby, plenty of pedestrians have commented that it's far more sensible than using the road.
    Big W have bike helmets for $9, baskets for the front and rear for your shopping, etc.

  4. OH I miss having a bike!! I had to quit riding when I had the second batch of kids, and somehow I've just never taken it up again.
    Aren't your kids cool to get you such a great present!

  5. Yes what everybody above said. Lucky River, it's a beautiful bike.
    For her birthday Jayne's family will get her a top-of-the-line helmet.
    Not many people think about helmets being a single-use item.

    Wishing you happy and safe Petalling along. X X me and Annie O'D

  6. I reckon stick to the footpaths, back streets or bike paths much safer than riding on the main roads. It would be a good idea to buy a lock and chain and when you lock the bike up weave the chain through both wheels and the frame then around a post or bike rack :-).

  7. What wonderful, generous children. Joining with everyone else - stay on the footpaths. Have a wonderful time with your horizons expanded. All sorts of new places will now be within reach .....

  8. What a ripper. Does it have a skirt guard over the rear wheels?

  9. I gave my bike away a couple of years ago in favour of a nice new Yamaha which I love. It will all come back to you in time but I think you are quite brave riding around in's a mad house down there.

  10. She's Beryl. And forget the main roads - when I was in Trinity Gardens I always took the side streets and if on a main road, I stuck to the footpath. In Adders they're always wide enough to handle any pedestrians plus a nervous cyclist.

    Good on yer!

    Beryl - it works, it suits her I reckon!

  11. Delores; Hortense?? I'll have to think about that. A good lock and chain is on the list, right next to Helmet.

    FruitCake; Petal...hmmm

    Jayne; woo-hoo indeed! I've heard that some people of certain ages are allowed to ride on the footpaths, not sure if I have to apply for some sort of concession there, but I'll look into it.
    I've been to the nearest Big W and it's a madhouse!! Never going there again. There's plenty of bike shops in the city, (well, two), and there's K-Marts as well.

    Toni; I loved my bike when I was a kid, riding all over Port Pirie, then Murray Bridge. I didn't miss it when I gave it up in favour of a motorbike, but memories came back when I first got on this one.

    Marshall Stacks; Hi!! Don't see you here too often...I'm taking everyone's advice on board and will definitely look into riding on the footpaths legally.

    Windsmoke; I'm planning on exploring the bike paths in and around Adelaide as soon as I get less wobbly on turns. A chain and padlock will be bought tomorrow along with the helmet. I'm not coming home without either.

    EC; expanded horizons. I like the sound of that.

    Andrew; It has no skirt guard, but then it doesn't need one, since I don't wear skirts.

    Tempo; If I were younger, or possibly just more financially solvent, I'd have got another motor bike, but this will do and I'm very glad to have it.

    Kath Lockett; Beryl. It's true we do have wide footpaths, but they're also bumpy and uneven, and in Fullarton there's a lot of old people pushing or pulling granny trolleys, or zimmer frames and quite a few on gophers too. This is why a helmet is essential. I don't want to crack my skull when I fall to the ground after knocking into an old dear as they try to dodge me.

    So, I have Hortense; Petal and Beryl so far to choose from.

  12. Hi River,

    That's something I aim to do - when the weather improves. At the moment its too dark and wet to ride a bike in the kingdom of Mancunia.




  13. I think she's a 'Betty'! Happy New Year x

  14. Plasman; I wouldn't be going out in the dark and wet either.

    Kitty Moore; Betty, another possibility.
    Happy New Year to you too.

  15. Just catching up on blogs now:) She is beeyotiful!!! A basket will only make her more good looking.

    Which river bank trail do you think you will go to?

  16. LOVE IT!

    So damn cool woman... and I think she should be called River. After someone cool we know.


  17. omg THAT is so cool!!!!! I have a mountain bike that is gathering dust, now your post makes me want to get it out....stat!!

  18. Sarah; I've bought the basket, but it has a complicated fitting arrangement that I can't work out. I'll have to get the son-in-law onto it, he's good with that kind of stuff.

    Kelley@magnetoboldtoo; I'm thinking of calling her Serenity, after the spaceship which has another River on her. also the model name Serene is stamped on the bike, so it kinda fits.

    Farmer's Wifey; yes! dust off that bike and get going....

  19. I rode my bike for 25 years and rarely got off the footpath.
    It looks as though you might be able to adjust the seat height so your feet will reach the ground. (I read the post above) I hated hand brakes, I never had enough strength in my hands to halt the bulk the bike was carrying.


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