Saturday, 23 June 2012

Steady as She Goes

The sun was shining this morning early but there was a fair old wind coming off the sea.  I intended to do 2 miles today and rather than practice again along the dirt path I thought I'd attempt to steer a straight line out in public.

I half cycled and half walked the bike up the hill out of my complex and then once on the pavement I headed for the local seafront car park which I knew would be virtually deserted this early in the morning.  However, once there I decided instead to follow the pavement around passed the car park and through some quiet streets.

It was a pity that I didn't have the experience or the nerve to cycle on the road because the road is in much better condition than the pavement.  The pavement is desperately in need of being stripped down to the basics and re-laying.  On top of that the trees along the side had strewn all their cones on the ground.  All this making a very bumpy ride.   At one point a motorist had parked his/her car on the pavement and I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't get passed it without either falling off or scratching his car, or even both, but all was ok.

A couple of times I over steered and thought I would lose balance and have to stop but after a bit of a wobble I managed to stay up right and carry on.  I am now wondering if having only 16" wheels might add to the steering problem.  Would I have found it easier to learn to ride on a normal sized bike wheel?

After about half a mile I picked up a pathway that took me onto one of the beach top walks/rides and cycled back towards home along there, dreading having to pass any walkers.    I stopped along there to take a couple of photos,  have a drink of water and admire the view.

At this point I had only ridden just over a mile and needed to get in the rest of the planned 2 miles, so I came off the end of the beach top ride and into the car park.  There was absolutely no parked cars the side of the park I was on, so I rode around in a large circle, getting the feel of the bike more, without the fear of wobbling into someone or something.

Ok, riding nearly a mile around a car park may seem to be only slightly less boring than watching paint dry, but for me it gave a safe area where I could get the feel of learning to ride without fear of wobbling into a hedge, road, or person.  If I wobbled I had plenty of room to straighten up.  It also gave me a chance to try to learn to take one hand off the handle bars to signal.  Although that was too much too soon, lol.

After that two miles my backside was extremely sore.  The saddle is crap.  But then what can one expect when the bike only cost £119.  I wont mind buying a decent saddle (Brooks?) as when/if, I upgrade to a decent folding bike (Brompton?) I will already have a great broken in saddle.  I'm not going to buy a new saddle though until I know 100% that I will get on with riding a 2 wheeler and will use it constantly.  At the moment a 2 wheeler for me is just a trial run, hence only buying the cheapest.  After all I might have to end up going back permanently to my trike.

I have however started a little savings tin for a Brompton in maybe a year or so when there is enough money in the kitty.


  1. Don't give up yet.....I'm sure the practice will eventually become perfect.....


  2. Thanks for the support both. Although I feel a bit of a fool learning to ride at my age, I am enjoying it muchly.


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