I have a bike, I’m actually doing this *gulp*

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September 4, 2012 by secretcyclist

So here it is, my brand new but actually not remotely new, second-hand bike. I have no idea if it’s any good because I’m too impatient to shop around, but the store was 10 minutes from my house and the man who worked there was very nice. And the bike is nice and small, and light.

It’s pretty basic, and only cost me £65, but at this stage it would be silly to get a brand spanking new road bike with umpteen gears when I don’t even know how much I’ll take to this cycling malarkey.

When I told the bloke who worked there that I couldn’t actually ride, his response was “ah, riding’s nothing, it’ll take you 2 hours, tops.” I didn’t have the heart to rain on his optimism by pointing out how unlikely that was, but in fairness I haven’t tried yet so I guess you never know.

He also had a go at showing me how to work the gears. I’d say it went in one ear and out the other, but that would be overly generous to my auditory organs. I had no idea what he was talking about. I’ll have to have a fiddle around later and see if I can figure it out on my own. He did, however, raise the handlebars for me so I didn’t have to stretch my arms too much.

Now, I still haven’t bought a helmet, though thankfully there appears to be one kicking around at home. When I mentioned to the guy at the shop that I needed to get one his reassuring response was “pfft, you don’t need one when you’re just in the park. What’s going to happen there? Worry about it when you get into the road.” When I explained that two of my friends had lost half their teeth after accidents and I wasn’t taking any chances his even more reassuring response was “oh, that’s nothing. I’ve had four car accidents. The bones in my spine are so loose now one wrong move could paralyse me forever. Every now and then they get out of alignment and some bloke has to come and straighten them out. It’s agony, like being hit with a sledgehammer.”

Thanks for the anecdote man, thanks.

I also quite enjoyed his comment “Not meaning to be rude, but you’re pretty short in the legs.” Yes sir, I am. In fact, as small as the bike is I’m thinking I may still need to lower the seat a tad while I’m learning so I can lay my feet flat and avoid toppling sideways, Derek Trotter-style.

Now that I actually have it, I’m incredibly impatient to get on and have a try, but I’ve got work this evening so I have to try and stay vaguely focussed on that. Tomorrow will be riding day, and I really can’t wait.


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