Today i bought a bike from Babs.
She had offered to rent it to me for €12 per week. I said I would think about it. I already knew that the bike was for sale for €100, I ate my sandwiches for lunch and when I had nearly finished, agreed to buy it from her.
We went down the road to a cycle hire shop, where I met Bab’s partner (who is a tri-athlete and takes part in Iron Man competitions), his sister and her boyfriend, who agreed to pump the tyres up.
The place is cool and new bikes are being built to add to the hire stock.
Whilst there I drank a cup of cold tea from Babs' best Denby pottery mug (which she was most put out about). There too good for the bike store. My sister uses Denby and so I can see why if she saw her mugs being used at the Castle she works in, she too would blow a gasket.
Later in the day, it was presumed that I would no longer need my lift to and from work.
I thought about it, and not really knowing where I am or where I live in relation to anywhere else, I asked if I might continue with the pick-ups until I get my bearing. The bike after all was simply to buy emancipation from either the feeling of living under house arrest (which happens whenever I can't drive somewhere) or the idea that my actions have to comply to another persons timetable.
It was agreed that I should drop the bike in the van and get a lift.
After I got back home, I ate, had a bath (falling asleep for about 15 minutes) and got dressed for cycling.
Aside from an afternoon jaunt in 2005 in Paris, following Fni's brother in law around some beautiful chateau filled suburbs, I have not ridden a push bike since 1997.
I bought a bike once after thinking that cycling from Bromley to Stockwell in London would be quicker that driving or 'queuing' in the rush hour traffic. I remember I got as far as Lewisham before I actually died.
That bike was never ridden again.
Anyway back to the story.
I got the bike out of the front gate faced the town, and if I tell you that I peddled twenty times, I would be exaggerating. It was all down hill and takes about 10 minutes, door to door. Good news for getting to work then!
I cycled all around the town in all directions for about 45 minutes, before getting a bit bored.
Whilst receiving a call on my new Lanzmob, I tried to cycle down some stairs and speak with one hand at the same time, which if you have not cycled for some time is a bad idea.
I stopped for a bear at the Beach Bar, a nice place overlooking the beach, where the bar staff were friendly enough.
Then I cycled home. My bicycle has 27 gears. I know this because I think I used all of them at varying times to get home. I confess that I walked up the slip road adjoining the by-pass, but am pleased to say that the rest of the way, I proceeded under peddle power.
So, lift to work tomorrow, and probably from then on I will cycle on my own.
Hoorah for the feeling of liberation!