I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

I Really Really Like My New Bicycle

I really really like the new bicycle I bought just before Christmas.

I paid for it
with part of the $A1,200 payment the Australian Government issued to pensioners as part of a package to stimulate the economy. The rest of it is covering most of the cost of rejuvenating my old lounge suite - so you see I've done my bit for the country by pumping the money back into the economy.

But my bicycle means a lot more to me than that. It's such fun, for one. Secondly, it's helping me get fit.

I rode around the bicycle paths and parks in my neighbourhood for more than an hour this afternoon. If that doesn't help my arthritis et al, I don't know what will!

I went up all sorts of little byways that you'd never bother about in a car. At a bike's pace you can see so much more.

When I wasnt too far from home I spied a park bench which was sheltered from the nippy breeze that had sprung up near the lake.

I was bathed in late autumn sunshine as I drank from my water bottle and crunched into a crisp apple. Then I settled to read a book in idyllic surroundings.

I am pretty confident riding it these days, although I must admit to a mild battle early on. I hadn't ridden a bicycle for more than 50 years.

I confess that I ran into the guard rails of a bridge and barked my shins a week or so after I bought it. But that was before I got the hang of the gears.

The benefits have certainly outweighed that bit of inconvenience.

I strongly recommend a bike to any oldie who wants to feel their blood flowing again. My chiropractor and my general practitioner certainly approve.

So you can see my bike is a plus all round.

How long is it since you rode a bicycle? Do you miss it? Than why not have another go?


  1. Way to go June. Its been years for my but my ister in law who is 51 just took it up again in recent times and is now cycling kilometres. she is addicted. Good on you!! You might even inspire me! Great pics too.

  2. Good on you June,
    I am eager to get back on my bike, in more than the metaphorical sense too, now that it is cooler..The local council is building bike tracks everywhere so we can be safe...
    Happy biking Days

  3. LILLY my girl you have no excuse with that city of Canberra at your feet - so many paths and parks ...

  4. Well on your bike DELWYN! You'll be amazed at how much better you will feel ...

  5. Congrats on your new "horse",it is great to bike,isnt it? I think I forgot to walk,if Im on the move I go biking,and in Holland you go trough rain,wind,icestorm if you have to,we can not wait for good weather to bike.I do not have a car,I hate busses so my choise of transport is simple.I love biking and butpain is part of the ride,so I whish you a happy biking,greetings from Sandra

  6. Hi SANDRA
    I'm pleased you, as a Dutch person, approve of my bike!
    Your country is so beautifully flat it's perfect for them. However, I remember being very wet indeed when I was there for about two weeks in our camper van.
    I even bought a pair of clogs to help get through the mud to the ablutions block. I couldn't walk in them very well and I got blisters.

  7. You are my newest hero!!! I haven't ridden a bike in over 30 years, either. Good for you! I am short, so I have a hard time stopping...and I have never been able to stand up and ride at the same time (uncoordinated!), but when it was flat, I really liked it.

  8. Happy bicycling. My wife and I enjoy peddling together often. They are great fun.

  9. You make it sound like so much fun! I think I´ll have to get my bike out of the shed and try it again! :)
    Your pictures are truly beautiful!!

  10. $1200! Wow. Our stimulus check is $250 along with no increase in Social Security. The only portion of the economy we're managing to stimulate these days is the pharmacy at Washington State. Considering that, I consider it for a good cause!

    I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you went to a dedicated bicycle shop (not Walmart)and got them to fit you specifically to a bike. Mine is not your speedster style (as you see). I don't stand up to ride as I don't go up huge hills and have good gears anyway. The seat is comfortable.

    My bike cosat me $A400. I think we get A76c for your $US1.

    I'm sure my bike will save medical bills.

  12. Goodonya BAGMAN
    I'm sure exercise keeps things ticking over - from brain to toes. And bike riding is so gentle if you keep it to your optimal boundaries. Extend oneself a little each time I say.

  13. Hi BETTY
    Today is a good day to dust off your machine. You may forget tomorrow ...

  14. I used to have a 12 speed years ago. My husband and I rode 10 miles not long after I got it and I was not able to ride back. He had to go home and get the truck and come back after me and the bike! It is wonderful exercise and I am sure it would be great for arthritis. I have not ridden in at least 20 years. I would probably kill myself.

    Our financial people and banks weren't as naughty as yours. We are only just on the cusp of technical recession because of this.

    However, we're having problems with our mineral industry because of other countries necessarily reducing their orders, so our problems are apparently about to increase.

    Our government has really gone in hard to stimulate our economy, to the extent that we wonder what will happen in the future. We will have to pay back big debts. Mind you the previous government was ridiculous with their surpluses, keeping many of us in poverty to keep them flush, and ignoring infrastructure. education and health (and pensioners).

    Let's hope that Rudd will be able to strike the balance in the long run. It's our Budget tomorrow and pensioners are supposed to get an increase - the whisper is $30. Which won't mean a real lot because we have been left high and dry for too many years while others got tax cuts.

    There is little doubt that our society is still more egalitarian than yours has been, according to my observations from this distance ...

    I think it's important to remember that our dollars are not equal - we get A76c for your $US1.

  16. JUDY
    I reckon if I rode ten miles in the first day I would kill myself too.
    I reckon if I don't ride (or walk) at all I may kill myself ...

  17. Good for you, June! I have a stationary bike that I use and, no, it isn't as much fun as the real thing, but the streets and the traffic in and around our neighborhood are just not safe for old ladies on bikes! Or anyone else for that matter. So, I do what I can in the basement on mine and I listen to music and that helps. A belated Happy Mother's Day!

  18. Hi June, I must admit to having had a laugh at the expense of you and your commenters today.. I couldn't help but think of me on a bike again, (must however admit to being envious).

    The last time I was on a bike was in Holland over twenty years ago - it was lovely and flat of course. In Scotland, I would have to go into training to even attempt to ride a bike... There are too many ruddy hills around here ! I keep threatening to take it up again but haven't garnered enough courage yet...

    My sister Lorraine in Dumfries bought a bike a couple of months ago ahem .... 5 months to be precise. She says she's waiting for warmer weather to come in before she starts heheh..

    Dorien - not to be outdone also bought a bike a month or so after Lorraine but she's not been able to try it out and is talking abouth selling it again - whether she does or I buy it from her depends on whether I would use it or not... I start things like exercise machines etc and they end up being hangers for clothes in our bedroom.... Rob has therefore put the clamps on me getting a bike in case it becomes another ornament hehehe...

    Cheers to you June - you enjoy your bike and make us all jealous of your non arthritic knees and back ... Love Kate x.

  19. SYLVIA
    I have one of those walkers on my patio but it's been ignored since the bicycle arrived. I absolutely understand about traffic. I am lucky enough to have a sister who lives down on the flat where there are lots of bicycle paths and I leave my bike there and drive the short distance to get my other wheels. Bliss.

  20. Hi KATE
    Trust Dorien - she's a goer isn't she?
    So old ladies on bikes bring a chuckle eh? Careful you!
    I do have arthritis already - hands, neck and knees. But I'm determined it will get no further at least without a fight.

  21. Joan, you have inspired me to get my bike out of the shed, clean it up and have the tires filled with air. I want a little basket just like yours so that I carry my camera, water and fruit with me. Sooooo I have made up my mind this is the week to start biking. Thanks Joan, love your blog for the pictures and inspiration......:-) Hugs

  22. I haven't ridden a bicycle for at least 5 years (I rode one for a day in a park), and before that for at least 15! I use to ride a bike to school, it took about 30 minutes... the scenery was not as beautiful but I did stay pretty healthy back then!

  23. BERNIE
    I am awarding you a big red rubber star stamp on the back of your hand! Remember them? You're too young!
    Now - if you are going to do all of this preparation it is absolutely obligatory to get on the bike.
    June in Oz

  24. HI TULSA
    If Bernie can do it maybe you could consider biking again too? Borrow one, make sure it's a nice day and that the route is safe and you'll be surprised. Don't give up after one try though. Persistence is all!
    And then start angling for the family to pool together to get you a bike as a gift ...

  25. Nice bike! The basket is really smart, you'll be able to a bit of shopping! I'd love to ride a bike but end up walking instead. I live in a hilly area, where most of the people end up pushing their bikes because the terrain is a bit steep going home.

  26. I haven't visited your post in awhile, but I like your Bicycle story. As for riding, I never learned. Much to my regret of course. We never had one to even attempt learning on. Hang in there and enjoy. Yes it will keep you young.


  27. June, what a wonderful idea for seeing all those little places you wouldn't normally travel to. And a great idea for your health as you say. Good for you woman! You are one heck of an inspiration. :))

    PS Don't leave home without your camera...

  28. KANANI That's why I leave the bike down at my sister's on the flat, drive down the hill, and off I go on the bicycle.

  29. I might have a bike now GRAMMY of 13 but I don't have a single grandchild - much to MY regret of course.

  30. Hi again EATON
    The camera goes with me ...

  31. You have once again shown the path and lead others to do. Staying in a hiily forest riding abike is not possible, we have to walk on foot clearing the weeds and shrubs on our way. When on leave back to Calcutta I sometime's use my son's bike for going short distances. This is alovely post.

  32. What a lovely bike ride you had! I've just taken up cycling again after a break of about 8 years. It's great fun - and I have a special contraption so that the dog can come too!

  33. I never mastered the art of bike riding, beleive it or not.

    A few years ago, when the children were young, we all hired some bikes to go on one of the trails in the Derbyshire Peak District. My wife and I struggled, me most of all whilst the youngsters scooted all over the place.

    It did give me a hint of the benefits though; gentle exercise; an ability to see more without missing out on the intimacy that you do in a car.

    Your narrative and photos have given me pause for thought.

    Should I try again?

  34. I've enjoyed visiting your blog this am by way of "Get Lost With Easy Rider".

    Blessings of peace & all that is good

  35. Thank you Pradip. At least you are keeping in touch with your son's bicycle ...

  36. LADYFI
    I'd love to see a pic of your 'contraption' for the dog - with you and the dog in action!
    That's a challenge ...

    And this is your challenge - yes have another go! You will always wish you had. Make sure you are on a safe path and away you go ...

  38. DEBRA
    Thanks for visiting. I looked at your blog - it seems you did have a happy Mothers Day ...

  39. 70 plus and as Beautiful as ever! Truly you are an inspiration to us all sweetie :) Love your blog! now let me go check out your other blog :)

    Much Love To You Hun,

    Sandy xx

  40. What wonderful journeys of exploration you can now undertake in that wonderful bicycle of yours. Reminds me of Enid Blyton stories.

  41. Hi MIKE
    Thanks for the visit. I'm pleased you are getting something out of the Mood Gym site. Apparently it has been a great help to a lot of people.

  42. Hello Sucharita
    Enid Blyton reminders as in exciting adventures? I agree.

  43. June--what a sweet bike!!! I miss riding. I remember as a kid going for hours--my first bike weighed 25 pounds and had no gears. My favorite bike was a mountain bike I purchased about 15 years ago --nobby tires, light weight and 15 speeds which I really never got the hang of. My god daughter inherited it when the bike began to collect dust. Reading your post and with the weather getting warmer finally, I am beginning to yearn for the feel of the open road.

    thanks for a lovely post--Cheryl

  44. Nice to see your bicycle and reading about the joy it gives you. I bought an electric bike to commute to work about ten years ago. It was a regular cruiser, but with a small motor on the rear axel. I used it to help me up the three mile hill to the campus. I rode the bike everyday for years, through the great meadow where I saw white-tailed kites hunting, ground squirrels fleeing for their lives, and the occasional bobcat in the far grasses. I still have it, but since retirement use it less often.

  45. Well dad got a sweet looking bicycle there and I am so glad you are having a good time just riding it.

    I got one several years ago. A Schwinn Mountain Bike. It was my first bike in about 60 years and I rode it to Verona and back almost every day. The round trip on the bike path was 12 miles.

    On the days when my legs cramped and my muscles burned I would picture me peddling like a nut and hauling my big fat butt on a tiny seat while it is being abused by every little bump in the road. But, like you, I felt better and my fat turned to muscle.

    Then I got sick and last November my left lung collapsed and I got home for 10 days and then it collapsed again in December. After lots of opinions, tests and x-rays, the conclusion is my lungs are shot -- from COPD to asthma. So I now have a breathing problem and I am somehow trying to make myself believe I can ride my bike this summer.

    Since I get out of breath, big time, going from my bed to the bathroom, unless the good Lord knows something I don't know,I don't think I will be able to ride. So, for me, I hope you keep riding and writing so i can read about your bike trips.

    I am going to be 75 years old.

    My blog is The Hamlet of Gordon but you can pick any of them. If you like birds, then you might want to pick My Birds Blog.

  46. CHERYL
    The open road it is then - but make it a safe one, preferably a quiet bike path until you get the hang of it again. The best tip I could give would be to make sure you're looking directly at where you're going (on the ground) when you're going through a tight situation. That's what happened when I hurt my shins running into a bridge railing - I wasn't concentrating on the middle of the path ahead of my front wheel.
    Remember that and it's easy. And keep your hands close to the brakes!

  47. Hi ROBIN
    You crtainly have experienced the joys of cycling. How wonderful seeing all of that wild life.

  48. ABE
    Please don't give up. Work up to exercise gradually and you never know. Our bodies have amazing recuperative powers.
    I'd be much happier knowing that you are working towards that bike ride of yours while doing breathing exercises et al. I don't want to be riding knowing that you're not!
    COPD can be contained for some time with exercise and good diet, but I suppose you know that. Asthma is no fun either eh? Summer will be a better time for you.
    I don't suppose you smoke?

  49. Inspirational, I am currently suffering with a frozen shouder and feeling sorry for myself. You make me want to get my own bike out once I am up to it, especially as the spring weather here is gorgeous. Thanks, I will soldier on.

  50. Thanks for visiting JENNYFF. A frozen shoulder cannot be ignored can it? Are you supposed to try and exercise it once the pain lessens a little? I can't remember what I did years ago when mine gave up in a similar way ...
    I'm pleased you feel inspired ... Let's know how you go once you venture out on your own bike again ...

  51. I bought a bike for my 5yr old as a Mother's day gift since she declared mothers day as 'All girls day' and demanded a gift :p
    Now I run/walk with her teaching her to balance.Its a good exercise too.Cant wait for the day she finally rides by her own and then I can go get one myself!!
    Nice pics of your bike there :)

  52. Hi Sree
    Some little girls I have known had training wheels on their bicycles. The wheels seemed to get them over the hump of learning the rudiments of riding while not having to face the battle of balance at the same time.

  53. yea i know.did talk about it to the store ppl too,and as they suggested the training wheels only help not to "wobble" much but still wud need a hand to help balance.Shes 5.So the bikes that comes with the training wheels is bit small for her.
    Thanks for droppin a line in mine too. :)

  54. SREE
    Different bikes for different people eh?

  55. Hello Dear
    Please stop by Psyche Connections and Pick up your award! I know you are choosing not to post awards and that is totally fine with me. However, I want you to have what you least in spirit

  56. LINDA
    How thoughtful of you. I'll wander on over ...
    Thank you!

  57. It sure looks like you had quite a wonderful day! The last time I rode a bike, I was a teenager. I lost control coming down a big hill, fell off and hurt myself rather badly. I haven't ever tried it again. I blame only myself, not the bike. Your pictures look great. I don't see any big hills either! :)

  58. No big hills MYSTERY LADY. In fact, I live on the top of a big hill so I keep my bike down at my sister's who lives on the flat near heaps of wonderful bicycle paths. Big hills are for people fitter than I am.

  59. yes i so want to get on a bike, but simply not possible in the crowded city roads. Indian roads are not safe anyway.
    but i kindle a hope that one day i will have a bike and ride it instead of my car.

  60. MAMPI
    I wish that for you as well ...


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