A new bike

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.

Cute little retro bike

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.

New cycle with no ‘twitchy steering’

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!

17 thoughts on “A new bike

  1. Looks very sparkly and ideal for some lovely afternoons out exploring and getting a bit of exercise. You can’t beat a bit of gentle cycling. Like the look of the old one but not the sound of the wobbly old steerage, much better with a new model I think.


  2. Congrats on your new bike, Chris! Aren’t they so much fun, even at our age?!! 😊 Hubby & I got new bikes this past February, and I felt like I was a kid again, riding it all around, giggling and laughing. I even got my favorite color, red. We’re able to take them with us when we go camping. Will you be able to take yours camping too?


  3. I’m with you Chris, last time I rode a bike you pedalled backwards to brake too and haven’t owned one for years until, husband saw a couple for sale second hand too. Well we’ve had them for a few months now and I still haven’t had the courage to give it a go! We have got bike paths nearby but steep hills up and down to get there first. Our van does have a bike carrier on the back too so they may get thrown on for trips away, but I really need to practice again first. Fingers crossed!


    1. I was never a great cyclist, but I’m pleased to say I’m doing ok on this new bike. I think that you really have to have a bike that’s the right size, and a bike that feels safe to ride. Only ride if you feel right.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can so relate to the way you were feeling, Chris.
    I am glad you didn’t hurt yourself when you feel and as a shorter person I do agree that it is hard to find the right bike. I felt so “high up'” on a bike after years of not riding. Way too high up. I wanted a little old dragster thing like the banged up ones the kids rode at the Gold coast in the seventies that would see me well grounded. Do you remember the ones with the long seats? And low to the ground?
    The seats they have now, are so darn uncomfortable, aren’t they? Did you ever consider a cruiser, or a trike? And a soft gel seat?


    1. I think this bike is going to work out fine for me, but the seat will take a bit of getting used to. I’ll give it a few weeks though before I consider up grading that. I do remember the bikes with the banana seats on them, and the high rise handlebars. Unfortunately they actually weren’t the safest of bikes to ride. My brother used to manufacture bikes (in NZ), so he provided us with all our bikes. He considered back pedal brakes were safest for kids, so that’s what we had. I rember him building plenty of bikes with the banana seats in the 1970s.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is not so much the style of bike, or seat, but the height off the ground, rather – how close to the ground they were compared to others. Or they seemed to be….


  5. Good point about finding the right bike for our needs!
    My goodness that sure does make all the difference and congrats on not giving up
    Happy riding


  6. Good for you! I never had a bike when I was young and by the time I started riding as an adult my confidence wasn’t great. We used bikes at a place we stayed at in Germany and I felt so unsafe. The culmination of the trip was when I rode into a hedge while Mr ET rode on ahead, blissfully unaware. Since then I have said to him I would like to practise somewhere flat with no cars but we have yet to do that. I would love to be able to take bikes with us on caravan trips.

    Liked by 1 person

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