Friday, 18 March 2016


It has been a lovely week of sunny weather here and although the temperature has not been that high all that sunshine has got me thinking about getting the bicycle out of the garage and checking it over ready for more frequent use.

I did not learn to ride a bike until I was 19 years old and went away from home the first time. I still remember how difficult it was to get the hang of it at such an advanced age ! I had some good friends who would come with me down to the disused railway line and give me a push, the only way I could stop was to crash into the pillars holding up the next bridge over the old line about 1/2 mile down the path ! But I did learn and this came in very handy when I went to university and could not afford the bus. I cycled everywhere in all weathers and can still remember the frustration of coming out of a late library session to discover that my wheels had been stolen. After that, I brought the wheels into the library with me.

After ShoestringUSA was born we still rode bikes everywhere and he rode in a little bike seat at the back. In those days no-one wore a helmet but now the traffic is busier and I do. The helmet buying was a little embarrassing as I have always had problems to get one to fit so last year for my birthday Mr Shoestring treated me to one from a specialist bike shop. I tried on all the ladies' helmets, all too small, I tried on all the men's helmets, all too small, by now the entire shop was watching, finally the assistant called out " Tony, have we still got that XXXXL in stock ?" "Yes !" came the reply and that was the one we bought !

Now suitably equipped with helmet and lock as well as basket and mud guards I can nip into town for shopping, library books etc. just as quickly as driving when the weather is good and I get a bit of exercise too. The savings on petrol soon add up too.

Do you cycle anywhere ?

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