When I was growing up in Poland everyone was cycling. A bike was on top of the list of gifts we would get for the first communion. I got mine and it was beautiful. I just realised it was red, just as my current one!
My mum’s younger sister took it upon herself to teach me to ride. The preferred method in mid 80s was to wedge a long stick behind the saddle so the “instructor” would hold on to it without touching the actual bike and just keep you balanced.
I don’t remember every detail of that lesson but I remember the universal things every kid says whatever country they are from when they get on their first bike: “Just don’t let go OK? I will tell you when to let go OK? Are you holding? Are you sure?” and you were pedalling on that tarmac road – no helmet or padding. Who has even heard of such stuff back then? And as my aunt’s repeated: “Yes. I am. I am still holding. No, I won’t let go. I am holding. I am holding” faded away I came to realise SHE WASN’T HOLDING ANYMORE! That promptly made me lose my balance even though I have been doing great over the last whatever meters… Oh, the joys of learning to ride the bike.
I spent all my school years, so from the age of 10 to age of 15, cycling regularly. We had this green bike with no gears – you would pedal forwards only. If you moved backwards that was the break. Mind boggles. And then we added a blue one that would pass for a hybrid in those days. That one had gears and it was considered posh.
After that I did not cycle outdoors until 2010. When I got on my friend’s bike I was scared but then shocked that you don’t forget a skill that you have learnt but not used for around 16 years!
But back then I was into running. Until my disk went that is. After the surgery when I started walking and sitting properly again it was time to get back into exercise. Running was out of the question so I started indoor cycling classes again. I used to love them before my back problems. I started slowly with 15min at a time. And a set up that I would call a cruiser bike. You get the picture.
Then as it was helping me so much and there was so little else I could do I decided to do the teaching qualification. And the rest is history. 2.5 years and over 600 classes taught.
Around a year and a half ago came the idea of getting a bike. My red Pinnacle Warhorse arrived via cycle to work scheme with a condition from my managing director that I would not cycle to work 🙂 So I didn’t. I took it around Norfolk over Easter 2014:
then Sussex in summer
and Holland at Easter 2015:
I managed to squeeze 8 days in Spain too which was magnificent!
This year you have already heard of my Tour of Cambridge. I don’t know if anything else comes in between but in November I am off to cycling in South America. Nicaragua, Panama & Costa Rica so expect a long entry on that one.
So to answer the question above: yes, you should get a bike this summer.