Allan’s Daily Journal 2019

Monday 1 to Sunday 14, July 2019

Expanding my horizons 2

I got the call to go pick up the bike sooner than expected so it was off to the shop.

Some necessities were also bought (helmet, high vis waistcoat) and the bike collected.

I have never believed the old “as easy as riding a bike” quote and was expecting to take a while to get my balance but it happened surprisingly quickly.

Once that hurdle was over (ish) the problems of riding a modern bike started. The saddle in the shop was checked and thought to be at the right height.  It seemed to high when just sitting still but once I got peddling it felt a little low as the knees came up higher than I would like but that might be my ignorance.  

As an aside why are saddles designed to be as uncomfortable as possible? The only comfortable position seems to be sitting right at the back. Do you really need to have the saddle be so long and narrow? It does seem to be an odd bit of design.

Now came the interesting bit actually cycling. I remembered to use the rear break so as not to catapult myself over the front most of the time which is a plus.

Then it was fun with the gears. First problem is the markings are meant for people who can see normally so I can hardly see them. Second the left one doesn’t have numbers just lines. It looks like I will need to practice a lot and learn to work by feel rather than use markings.  The other thing I discovered is that even slight undulations in the road make a huge difference to the peddling difficulty. I ended up just staying in the same gear and just putting up with the changes instead of changing gear every couple of seconds.

The hardest part of the journey home was on foot since I live at the top of a steep hill and didn’t fancy trying to cycle up it with no experience of using the gears to get the best advantage. I could have sworn the path I chose wasn’t as steep as it turned out to be.

Next edition

Practicing the basics and getting my leg muscles use to cycling instead of walking.

Expanding my horizons

The other contributors to Guddle are enthusiastic cyclists where I haven’t ridden a bike for over thirty years. I also don’t drive so to get anywhere its public transport or walking and while I enjoy walking its rather slow and limited. To let me go further I decided to buy a bike and learn to ride again and this is the first of posts detailing what happens.

I walked to the cycle shop and back (about five miles) and bought a bike. I was lucky enough to get one that has mudguards which saves money since most bikes don’t seem to have them these days. Even though the bike was in the shop I couldn’t take it away but have to wait a few days to go and collect it.

That turned out to be a good thing because on reading about it I saw it is a 21 speed bike so has lots of gears. Panic time! I have never ridden a bike with more than three gears and have no idea what do with the extra 18 or how to find them.

I quick internet search later and I found a couple of very good articles amongst the load of useless ones (Tip for budding how to writers, Stick to the very basics and don’t include long complex tables) and now know where the gear change bits are and roughly how to use them.

The next post will be in a few days letting you know what the ride home is like. Will it be a disaster in waiting or a triumph?