Last weekend we set off to get a child- seat fitted to my bike, with the intention of going straight out for a ride. Unfortunately they needed to order a part for my bike before they could fit it, so I was unable to collect it until Wednesday. Wednesday came and Hector and I went off to pick up our new mode of transport. Once we’d waited around a bit and been shown how to take the seat off and so on, I put Hector in and realised just how wobbly the extra weight made the bike: even just pushing him along I felt nervous, worried that we would tip over, so I didn’t ride home, just pushed very carefully. When we got home Edward encouraged me to have a go on our street and I found that my own weight gave a bit more stability to the whole thing…but the getting on and off, maneuvering through narrow bits, going round corners all still felt a bit unstable.
Well, yesterday we set out early and went on a proper trip along the canal. We went through a couple of parks first of all then along a strip of main road and into my lovely marshes and canal; it felt good to be cruising through the cow parsley and wildflowers again, the smell is delicious. It has been a long time since I rode my bike at all, never mind with an extra passenger shouting from the rear, so I shouldn’t be too tough on myself. I think I need to get out regularly to feel more confident (and to get our money’s worth!). The canal ride was great, lots to see: birds, rowers, houseboats, dogs. Often, on my long runs along this stretch, I would cast a glance over to the little cafe next to the rowing club and daydream about a bacon butty and now my wishes came true: a big mug of tea and a bacon and egg butty. Great!
I must say, I feel a bit saddle sore today and I was really feeling it in my quads as we rode yesterday – I don’t ache after running, even after the big break I had, but cycling works a whole other set of muscles (I think we did about ten miles). My passenger probably adds to the energy expended and he was a delight to ride along with, shouting, pointing, chattering to himself and, right at the end, I looked back and saw his head had fallen forward and he was snoring away!
By the way, I felt I should buy him a helmet, even though he is quite well protected by the seat itself, but the smallest one I could find was still quite big, as you can see! As it’s so deep around the brim, it makes his head tilt forward and I wonder if there is a less bulky child’s helmet out there, more of a skull-cap style…