Sunday, 2 March 2014

On your bike

As a parent I always like to stand up the challenges laid out before me, I have a heart for adventure and I want to give my kids lots of opportunities to explore. Muddy splashy puddles I'm in, conker hunts I'm finding, stomping across small grassy paths I'm there but biking... I need help with! For a start I no longer have a bike but I am certainly going to need one.  My son whose three has become some what of an expert on his balance bike, and I by foot no longer cut the mustard, I can't keep up. I tail behind him puffing and panting so it's certainly time to invest in a new bike for me and get my husbands back up and running.

This is my biking inspiration - my son!
So it's time to face it and jump back on! The thing is the last time I went biking was a bit of a disaster all around. A trip grounded to a halt by me. For a while it haunted me, but in truth now it's been so long I just laugh at just how ridiculous I must have looked and it's become almost a fond memory. So I thought I would share it with you so that's it's off my chest and I can move forward into this new biking era. 

Picture the scene, I'm 17 I was away in Toxteth, Liverpool on a mission trip to help in a local church, and during the final week of our stay we get a day off where we can explore the city. I was very excited, I was independent and away from home and I couldn't wait to see more of Liverpool. This trip was a really turning point for me in so many ways, and despite my parents reservations about Toxeth it really opened my heart up to how vibrant such run down places can be. 

On this particular morning our host had managed to borrow a couple of bikes from local people for us to use, and I eagerly clambered onto mine. For a bike it was beautiful, not what I expected to be riding and far from my bike that was 7 years old at home that I had had since I was 10. This was a real ladies bike, glistening under the lovely sunshine. We set off three of us in a row our host leading and myself at the back. After having travelled all of 20 metres the person in front of me began to slow down so I gently tapped my brake. I say gentle because it was barely even a touch, any less and it wouldn't have even counted as touching. I abruptly stopped flew over the front and the bike landed on top of me. I really wish at this point it had been a crash of high speeds or an amazing stunt that went wrong but no, the humiliation I crashed by tapping my brake! No helmet meant my face was pretty grazed and bleeding and I had one of those moments where you feel your face expecting blood and get a handful of gravel instead. It definitely looked worse than it was and I'm thankful we hadn't even made it down the first street. I didn't return to the bike but saw Liverpool by car after been patched up pretty embarrassed that I had ruined our special day trip. 

Turns out that the bike was brand new brought by a cycling enthusiast who got pregnant before ever taking it out for a spin. I certainly gave it a christening! What's worse is that when I arrived home to the station a few days later I realised I had forgotten to tell my mum about my little biking incident. To say she nearly had kittens when she saw me was an understatement, she immediately assumed I was the victim of an attack and started going off on one. Oops! 

It seems so silly now when I think about it all and I do really want to get back on and start riding again so that I can create some new biking memories that hopefully aren't quite so embarrassing! Biking is such a fantastic way to get out and about and my son begs to go out on his bike pretty much everyday. After my little braking incident we opted to get a balance bike without brakes whilst he was learning to ride so that he would learn to control the bike and his speed first. If you are considering a bike for your child you should definitely look into a balance bike they are incredible at teaching balance and you miss out the need for stabilizers.

So things to take forward into my new biking adventures are: 
- Always wear a helmet 
- Remember to tell your Mum when you fall off before she sees you
- Be careful when your on a new bike as new means works really well! 

This post is my entry for the ProBikeKit Blogger Competition

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