I don’t cycle a lot, as much as I should, but I do ocassionally peddle to work on weekends. The roads are quiet at 7am and there hardly anyone around to see this middle aged fat woman making a fool of herself on a bike. But even if there was I’d still be out there.The journey to work is relatively easy, with only a few small hill for me to work the gears on. I live for the half way mark in my journey, when I’ve been climbing for some time and finally it all pays off in one long glide where I can sit off the seat and coast. If I’m feeling energetic I can peddle comfortably in top gear letting the scenery blur around me.
There only two things I miss about cycling. The first is having to wear the constricting crab shell that authories call a helmet. When I was a kid there wasn’t much better than coasting along with waist length hair flying like a flag behind (I caused more knots that way). Cycling then wasn’t the sweating peddling of some earth bound creature; cycling then was flying!
And then they enforced the laws about wearing helmets. Clamped and buckled and weighted and strapped back down to the hard earth. The chin strap cutting off breathing. If you speak the helmet moves, you can feel the muscles in the top of your head working your jaw. It feels like the flip top lid of my brain as come loose.
The other thing I miss about cycling is just being able to chat. Sure, if your cycling with others you can talk. Between the grunt of exertion and the gasping for breath you can comment on your surroundings or give directions. But riding side by side for comfortable conversation is not always possible. Your mind is so concentrated on the road ahead (more I must admit than when I driving my one tonne of car) and your body so focused on peddling, steering braking and gearing that there is little thought breath or opportunity for shooting the breeze.
So my solution is a tadem. Me in the front with the multitasking brain that can chat and steer at the same time, and some loved one in the back. So anyone know where to find an kind generous soul with a tandem?