My Battle with a Bicycle
Bicycle: A bicycle, often called a bike (and sometimes referred to as a “pushbike”, “pedal bike”, “pedal cycle”, or “cycle”), is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist.
Wow, Monday again already! The weeks at the moment seem to be flying past so quickly. Not that this has been a bad thing with regards to the cold weather recently…bring on summer and some long need warmth and sunshine I say!! (Optimistic much!?)
So today’s #magicmoments is a tale of personal achievement. But not so much in the overcoming PND kind of way which I’ve been blogging about so much recently. No, this is a very different kind of achievement!! Of being forced to step out of my comfort zone and succeeding!
Last week I bought a bike. (If anyone reading this knows me, then yes, you are allowed to laugh out loud at this!) I haven’t owned a bike since I was a child and I haven’t ridden one for several years. But looking ahead to this hot and sunny summer (there’s that optimism again, is it getting annoying yet?!) I had the idea that we would be a family who embark on numerous cycle rides. And picnics. And time together. And loveliness. So, we went and bought me a bike, with a seat on the back for the baby, and one of those fancy seats for me with a hole in it for my special lady parts. Not entirely sure why they do that, but was I willing to go with it. The idea was that over the next few weeks I would go out on short journeys and practise, regain my cycling legs as it were.
I was excited to go and pick it up on Wednesday and have a little ride once we’d got it home. Except…we hadn’t bloody thought it through very carefully had we. For an accountant and a teacher we were pretty thick. The bike obviously wouldn’t fit in the car would it, and with five of us in the family we do actually have quite a big car! Home was four miles away and there was only one option, I had to ride the damn thing back. All four miles back. Sh**. My husband at this point was laughing at me, stood there in my helmet literally sh***ing myself at what I had to do. Ride a bike…on roads…uphill…on my own!!!! His mirth soon turned to concern and then he, ‘Mr Pro Cylclist I taught Sir Chris Hoy everything he knows’ proceeded to give me a lecture on how to ride home safely. Then he got in the car with the children and drove home. Leaving me there with my bike, alone. It was about half past six and I figured I had an hour before it got dark. My bike had no lights, so I needed to get moving. And move I did. I WALKED alongside my bike up the first hill feeling (and looking I might add) like a total twonk. After about 5 minutes I thought, ‘sod this, I can’t walk the entire 4 miles home’ so I tentatively got on the bike, and then promptly fell off. Then I got back on again, and actually cycled, swearing under my breath the entire time. It was bloody freezing. I swear there is no colder place on this earth than on top of a bike, cycling into a bitingly cold wind. My eyes were streaming, my nose was running, my hands were turning blue. And I still had 3.9 miles to go.
The next part went ok, all downhill which helped. But after a downhill comes an uphill, and I though ‘right you bugger, I will cycle up you, I can do this.’ And do it I did, but when I got to the top I had to stop to cross a road and my legs turned to jelly and I fell over again. In front of lots of people, bike landing on top of me. At this point, as you can image, I hated my f***ing bike. Would quite happily have thrown it in the nearest bin. Cycle rides this summer were a stupid idea, who was I kidding, I’m a lazy cow at the best of times and it was probably going to rain the whole sodding time anyway. Anyone who saw me at this point must’ve wondered what the hell I was doing. I had on the wrong clothes, my nose and eyes were still streaming in an extremely attractive fashion, and I was swearing as I walked, actually make that hobbled, alongside my bike. What a picture!
The next part was downhill again and although there was space in the road for bikes I chose the pavement. What a mistake. Not only was I nearly decapitated by a rogue sign, but I was also bashed and scratched by bushes and twigs sticking out over the pavement. This only added to my gorgeous appearance. Still in a foul mood I vowed to ring the council as soon as I got home and tell them, in no uncertain terms to cut the damn things back. So, I was nearly home by this point, one last bugger of a hill to get up, which I of course walked, and bashed the pedal on my left shin causing me to cry out in pain and making me hate my bike even more now that it had physically hurt me.
The last mile was down the back lanes behind out house, sheltered from the wind and away from the view of so many people. I could see my house in the distance and it was then when I began to feel quite chuffed with myself. I’d nearly done it. (I still hated the bike though) It was getting dark and I could hear my phone ringing, which was probably my expert cyclist husband checking I was still alive, wondering why I wasn’t home yet as it would’ve only taken him five minutes. But it was here, when I finally felt that I could do it, not that I had much of a choice. So I stood up, (I know, stood up on a bike, get me!) and cycled hard. And I made it! Huffing and puffing and looking minging (bright red cheeks had now added into the mix) I’d made it! After arriving home all the horrors of the last hour were forgotten, I’d done it! I felt like I had cycled from Lands End to John o’ Groats! I felt I could teach Sir Chris Hoy a thing or two myself!
I had been forced to go out of my comfort zone, something that hadn’t happened much recently as I’ve been playing it very safe, and I’d done it. I’d cycled four miles. (Okay, probably only three and a half, hobbling for the rest!) And yes, I’d winged and moaned and hated every blasted second of it, but I’d done it…and that to me, for so many many reasons…is magic!