Divorcing a mountain bike enthusiast 10 years ago I thought I was able to hang up cycling shorts for good. Seems this isn’t so, when a kind friend offered me their old bike in ear shot of my daughter. To my surprise she got all enthusiastic and excited about her and I on bike ride together. I don’t share her love of horses so I did think it could provide a nice summery thing to do together, but in my head all I could think of was the paid and the wobbling. Rather less unenthusiastically I agreed.
Last Sunday I thought I better get some practise in before our first midweek ride. Its not just the fact that I hadn’t been on a bike in about 11 years that was filling me with fear, or the fact that I really would have to squeeze myself back into those really unsexy and unforgiving padded cycling shorts but the fact that when I did use to ride a bike I was about as stable as a toddler on their first bike. Confidence in bike riding I seriously do lack.
Of course I had triumphantly chucked my old cycling shorts so new ones had to be bought. The problem with new shorts is that the padding doesn’t sit that well with your natural shape. I personally do think walking should be done with legs close together, the padding in the cycling shorts assumes you want to adopt a John Wayne type stance. My first task after getting over the shock of being in lycra again, was to actually walk like a normal person.
If you were out and about last Sunday in my town and saw a bandy legged woman pushing, yes pushing, her bike to the cycle trail just half a mile from her home, I can confirm it was me. I had to ease myself into all this rather gently and I wasn’t about to make my first wobbles on the road side.
A couple of hours later I was safely home. I had managed it. I hurt; I hadn’t knocked over any other cyclist or walkers, I couldn’t walk properly and had swallowed more flies than I really should have. But I had done it.
The ride with my daughter I felt I was more confident. She wouldn’t let me wear my cycling shorts as people might see us together. I even managed to ride to the cycle trail (this really is a big thing for me). My confidence was starting to return even more till my daughter complained that I rode like a 2 year old. I didn’t realise till she pointed out that I put my feet down when manoeuvring things. She also complained I didn’t go fast enough and I would never get my confidence fully till I had the wind in my hair.
I resisted the urge to shove her into the nearest hedge as that really wouldn’t be that adult of me. I also resisted throwing a strop, turning round and going home. It was actually nice to be doing something with her that didn’t cost money, that wasn’t hurting my ears (teenage music) and was actually quiet fun and enjoyable.
So it appears my daughter and I might have a new hobby to do together. Though next time I will insist on one thing, I will be wearing my cycling shorts no matter how much it embarrasses her.
I do hope you understand the lack of photos. I could offer a photo of my daughter cycling off into the distance and although she has a nice behind this would be as about fair as seeing me squeezed into lycra.