I made an embarrassing admission on instagram a few months ago…. I didn’t know how to ride a bike.
And while for some this may not seem like a big deal, for those of use who are more comfortable on two legs than on two wheels, riding a bike is the ultimate sense of freedom. And one that I wanted to experience so badly!
When my parents came and visited just before Christmas, I took my mums bike out for a spin.
I was horiffically bad.
We all laughed at how I couldn’t turn it around, and how I was too scared to use the brakes… so planted my feet hard on the ground to stop moving.
It wasn’t fun.
It had been on my vision board for the past few years to learn how to ride a bike again. When I was little it seemed easy. But I was never the sportiest of kids- much preferring to read books, or draw, or walk. Falling over and ‘getting dirty’ were not my ideas of fun, and falling off a bike, while luckily never happened to me, was certainly a big fear that I’d always had.
Come the start of 2015, I thought enough is enough. I’m a thirty year old woman, dammit!
So I asked the question to my followers- ‘What bike should I get?’. Me, not knowing a thing, had no idea if a 3 speed, a 10 speed or a no speed would be best. I didn’t know the makes or models, or even what would be best suited to the type of riding I would be doing (slow and steady, with my feet close to the ground!)
The response was overwhelming.
Once people knew I hadn’t ridden a bike in about 25 years, they started opening up.
People sharing that they too hadn’t ridden a bike since they were little. They had no idea if they could still do it. That they were scared of falling.
I wasn’t alone!
Along came the brilliant team at Papillionaire.
On my trip to Melbourne, they invited me into their warehouse and showroom, and took me through the process of making a bike, the moving parts involved, and gently guided me to riding one all on my own, (without laughing thankfully), and cheered when I took it for a spin down the road!
Mind you, I still hadn’t mastered turning in a circle yet, but that was to come.
So it got me thinking- what are the benefits to riding a bike?
-You’ll help the environment
-It’s great for your health- physically, emotionally and mentally!
-It cuts back on traffic congestion on the road
-You can get to places that traffic cannot
(wait till you see some of the beautiful places I’ve been riding to!)
-It’s a gorgeous way for you to experience freedom… kind of like flying, without wings
-If you’ve got family or friends that can ride with you, it’s a great way to spend a sunny afternoon
How beautiful is my bike?!
She’s a Sommer , so of course I named her Summer.
We’ve gone to our favourite rainforest for rides, to the beach, and even with the dogs (Paul walks them and I ride ahead a bit).
So now, I can proudly say, I can ride a bike (again!). I pack up my basket with my tea thermos, blanket, notepad and a hat, and off I go.
And what a feeling it is!
I am so proud of myself for finally taking the plunge and riding again, and for being brave. As we get older, fears get bigger and loom larger.
But I’m not scared to fall anymore.
Thank you to the wonderfully supportive and helpful team at Papillionaire– for gifting me this wonderful bike, for encouraging me to have a go, and for creating these stunning bikes that are truly of the highest quality.
Now excuse me, while I take my new wheels for a spin!