Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Getting Ready for 30 Days of Biking

I am seeing many blog posts popping up of people describing their plans for getting ready for the through April they have pledged to do.  I too have pledged to cycle every day of those 30 days and therefore thought I too would write a "Getting Ready" post.

Those that read my blog regularly know that my usual steed is a trike.  I ride a trike because 1) I never learned to ride a bike as a kid, apart from having a quick play on a friend or two's bike. 2) From the age of 15, on and off, I have suffered with vicious bouts of labyrinthitis which could descend upon me with no warning and therefore riding a 2 wheeler would have been positively dangerous, so when taking up biking, on my retirement, my logical choice was a tricycle.

However, for several years now I haven't suffered a single bout of the disease and last year I decided to buy the cheapest folding bike I could find on the market and teach myself to ride a 2 wheeler.   After several practices and a couple of actual trips out, I became very disheartened as I found myself useless at riding a two wheeler.  The bike was then tucked away in my Daughter's garage and ignored.

Related posts (Learning to Ride).

But........ pledging to cycle for 30 days has given me the incentive to give it another shot at learning to ride a bicycle rather than only relying on a tricycle.

As I am retired I have no reason to get out on the trike every day.  My trike is my only personal form of transport which takes me shopping, visiting, to the doctors, etc. etc.. but whereas working people use their bikes every day for commuting, I only ever need to pop out on the trike 2 or 3 times a week, and then not always going very far.  I am therefore going to have to force myself to find somewhere to cycle to each day.

So I thought by pledging to the 30 days of cycling I would kill two birds with one stone.  Unless I actually needed my trike for carrying back large loads I would persevere with learning to ride and use the fold up bike.

I have told myself that I don't have to go far each day to keep my 30 day pledge.  I will cycle out on the 2 wheeler all the time I feel comfortable and then head for home when I have had enough.  This way I might actually get passed my fear of riding a "bi"cycle and end up enjoying it as much as I enjoy my trike.

The fold up bike, which I have decided to call Freda, due to the fact that "the fold up bike" takes longer to say and type than does "Freda", has a couple of quirks that cheese me off.  So last night my Daughter dropped Freda back to me, and today I set about sorting out the quirks.

1) The saddle keeps slipping down.  Tighten it too much and one can't slip the catch to fold the bike, and not tight enough and saddle will slip after a mile or so.  So I decided that I don't really need to collapse Freda as I now have a key to our complex bike shed to store her in her open position.  So all nuts have been tightened to the fullest extent and Freda stays unfolded at all times.

2) She doesn't have any bag, box or whatever to carry anything.  Fitting something cheaply that could be removed for Freda to be folded was a pain.  But once I decided that she didn't really ever need folding I was able to attach, simply and easily, a plastic box on the back.

I haven't yet thought of how I am going to carry Tilly (my pup) on Freda, but until I do when Tilly comes out with me I will still be taking the trike.  I wouldn't subject Tilly to my wobbling all over the place on Freda yet anyway.  Baby steps!



  1. I think we all need a challenge to jump start our riding.

  2. Good luck and enjoy it!

    The small wheels on a folder can make them a bit challenging to ride (the steering is a bit frisky and anyway steering is different on a bike compared to a trike) so don't worry if you find it difficult - it's not you, it's the bike.

    Unicycle next?


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