i have adventures (sometimes)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Wanna Ride BIKES?

00:39 Posted by Ali , , , , No comments
If I've been overusing the word "lovely" lately, it's only because of Luna, my very lovely new-second-hand bike. My bike is lovely. Cycling is lovely. York in the autumn is lovely.*

See? Lovely.
On Monday, Shelly and I went on an adventure into town to pick out bikes from the Bike Rescue Project depot. We spent some time looking at the £70 mountain bikes, which was what we were there for, and we tried a few out for size. I'd just about picked one out - it was a nice enough colour, it was a good enough size, it looked like it would get from A to B once it was fixed... And then, in one fateful moment, I took a wander over to the row of hybrid bikes. And there I saw Luna. I asked how much she was. When they told me, I took a much quicker wander back to where the mountain bikes were, and tried to like my original bike again.

But it was already too late. I'd fallen in love. And that was how, with some frantic rationalisation (These boots will be fine in the snow! I didn't want a gym membership anyway!), I ended up spending twice as much as I planned to on a beautiful hybrid bike with a basket and a bell and an air of adventure.

There followed a week of feeling like kids waiting for Christmas, until we finally got called on Friday to say that our bikes had been fixed up and were ready for us to collect. So, like the responsible students we are, we immediately scrapped everything else on our to-do lists and went into town. We probably clapped our hands and shouted "BIKES!" rather more than most people do. The other people on the bus certainly seemed to think so. But we don't care what they think, because now we never ever need to take the bus again!** Now we can travel everywhere at more or less the speed of light, giving pedestrians condescending looks. Look at them, walking. Bless. We were like them once.

But now? Now, we are cyclists. Nothing can stand in our way.


Things I have learned in my three days as a cyclist in York:

1. Cycling without gloves will lead only to misery, regret, and frostbite.
2. If your gloves have holes in, they do not count, and you will not be spared from misery, regret, or frostbite.

Infinite sadness!
3. I really need to buy earmuffs. See "misery, regret, and frostbite", above.
4. "Do not cross the field at night" is all very well, but only worth remembering if you also remember that "at night" is any time after 4pm.
5. The field at night is dark and scary and almost certainly full of murderers (and foxes! Hi foxes!).
6. York is pretty flat, but it takes its single hill very seriously. My thighs remind me of this frequently.
7. I can totally avoid the single hill if I take the route across the field. So in the evening it's a toss-up between that and not getting murdered. I think my thighs are conspiring against the rest of me, because they keep voting for murder.
8. York is even lovelier than I thought it was, because here, the cars and buses don't run you over. Even if you're a cyclist! Instead, they move out of the way for you! The actual cycle paths are sporadic and tend to begin and end in accordance with the prophecy no logic I understand, but cycling on the roads doesn't seem to get you killed, which is also lovely. And no one hoots at you or harrasses you at traffic lights.

What an abundance of loveliness! Well, except for the misery, regret, and frostbite. But I'm working on that.

*You may have noticed that I got over my Tuesday grump. This is not unrelated to the fact that the weather forecast was wrong, and we had at least three days of sunshine this week. Imke, Shelly and I celebrated with an impromptu working picnic yesterday afternoon.
 **Except maybe when it's raining. Or snowing. Or if the zombie apocalypse happens, depending on whether or not the zombies have bus tickets.


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