About three years ago I purchased a cute little retro styled bike. I grew up riding a bike with back pedal brake, so when I saw a brand new, replica, retro style bike, complete with back pedal brake, I just had to have one.
I fell off that cute little bike the first time I rode it. Unhurt, I got straight back on, but my confidence never returned. I didn’t know if time and age had taken its toll on my cycling ability, or if it was the bike itself that wasn’t quite right. The bike was the right size for me, but the steering was very twitchy and sensitive. For months at a time the bike would sit unused in the shed before i’d give it another go, and another white knuckled ride would take place. I couldn’t relax riding it, I just didn’t feel safe.
With much trepidation I started browsing second hand bikes. I didn’t want to buy another bike only to discover that no matter how good the bike was, it wasn’t going to be a bike I’d ride. I saw a used bike advertised on Saturday morning that tweaked my interest. Some quick research indicated it could be a good bike for me, so I contacted the seller around 8am. She had listed the cycle for sale only about an hour earlier, but it had already sold. I had heard that cycles had been selling like hot cakes since the beginning of the pandemic. Perhaps now was the time to advertise my own cute little bike.
Paul gave the bike a quick clean and we decided to try our luck. In little more than an hour the bike had found a new owner, and at a price I wouldn’t have thought possible for a three year old bike, no matter how cute it looked.
We decided to look at another new bike. Sunday morning of Mother’s Day we headed to Dunsborough for a walk, calling past the cycle shop with the intentions of seeing if they had any in their window. What a surprise, the shop was open. Apparently they had been so busy lately that the owner had come in on the Sunday to try to get some work done. They had a bike that was the right size for vertically challenged me, a bike that he felt sure would feel stable enough for me to enjoy riding. A quick trial ride, and yes, I think he may be right.
An hour or so later we were home again and cycling up our own beach cycle path, me on my brand new bike. I rode it again the next day, and intend to ride it again today. It feels safe, and I’m not gripping the handlebars for grim death. Will I keep riding it? I think I will! It wasn’t a good feeling to be thinking that I’d become to old to be riding a bike at only 64. Busselton is flat and we have so many wonderful cycle paths. In fact I think it’d be safe to call Busselton a cycling paradise for unfit seniors.
I think I can relate to the the saying “it’s like riding a bike, you never forget how”, only I’ll add a little proviso to that, “ providing the bike you’re riding is the right bike for you.” I think I’ve found a bike that’s right for me – and I can’t tell you how good it feels to know I wasn’t making excuses when I didn’t want to ride that cute little bike. For me, it really wasn’t a safe bike to ride. The new bike that’s, so far, a joy to ride – what a pleasure!