Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Who would want pants like these? Cycling for happiness

There are some new knickers in my wardrobe. They are possibly the biggest bloomers I've ever owned and the competition is tough.

Have you ever noticed how the quantity of fabric in one's pants increases in proportion with the passing years. As an octogenarian I expect to be able keep my chin warm by pulling up my not-so-scanties.

But they aren't just any old tummy button huggers, these have a padded crotch to keep my tender bits from too much harm. The need for such a garment has come about since I've been spending more time on a bike. 

I've always liked the idea of cycling - imagined blue skies, healthy limbs, peddling happily and laughter. Stopping for ginger beer. 

However the reality has never come close. 

Over the years I have grappled with gears, got oily from the chain and gathered bruises in places where I wasn't even sure there were places previously. 

Then Super Gran, a long-time pedalophile, decided to upgrade at the age of 70 and gave me her cast-off vehicle. Excuses were vanishing fast. 

My friend Debbie, has also been bitten by the biking bug and is often to be found on the cycle and towpaths of Glasgow.

Then our book group welcomed a new member who is also a trainer for Cycling Scotland. The thing was closing in. 

The last straw was the Pedal for Scotland Glasgow to Edinburgh bike ride. It seemed do-able and, when I signed up, was far enough away not to scare me. 

Only now it's getting close, so I've had to do something about it. And, having avoided the issue with some essential shopping, the thing seemed to be to get on my bike.

I've had a couple of pleasant enough bike rides, sneaking out before anyone else was up.

But yesterday I finally got it. Boy Two - who is ten and the keenest cyclist in the Palace of Bundance - and I cycled from here to Kilbarchan and back again, a grand total of five miles. But it was lovely, we chatted, looked at stuff and by the time we came back I felt brilliant. 

I had reminded myself - once again - of the beneficial effects of exercise on one's mental health. Plus I realised I might just be able to make it from Glasgow to Edinburgh and enjoy most of the journey. 

Oh, and this new-found two-wheeled fixation has caused me for the first time in 42 years to suffer bike lust. Look at this:



It's a Brooke by Victoria Pendleton for Halfords. And it's a thing of beauty. 

I'm pleased to call myself a cyclist and add pedalling to my list of pass-times, I only hope it doesn't falter the first time I have to fix a puncture. 








14 comments:

  1. Good for you Ellen. Glad you're enjoying life - it's there for the taking in - on a bike or not! Looks like a lovely xmas pressie there...

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    1. It's always good to start the hints early!

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  2. Phew! for a minute I thought you were going to entertain us with a picture of the new underwear! Keep up the cycling - I'd love you to enjoy it. It pays to take time to understand how your gears work and when to use them. If your bike is working well and your are comfortable, it is a breeze. Hope you enjoy your Pedal for Scotland with your pals. Mxx

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    1. Even if I could work out how to take a picture of my own padded bottom, I think I'd probably opt not to.

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  3. Good luck with your cycle to Edinburgh and I'm sure it would go smoother on a Brooke. You should talk to Anne about bike lust - she's besotted with Pashleys.

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    1. Thanks. Oh, I've seen them, they're lovely too.

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  4. Pashleys are lovely. But fortunately Fiona poured cold water on my passion for Pashleys. Lovely in flat cities and for people who have somewhere to stash their bike at ground floor level. Not so good for someone living in the west end of Glasgow in a second floor flat! They are VERY heavy. xxx

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    1. I think Pashleys look like you just get on one and be cycling off on a sunny day in a flowery frock to meet a sophisticated older man for a picnic, or something. None of which is going to happen. Not in my life anyway.

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  5. We'll done Ellen. I am impressed. Looking forward to a Gold post box near you soon. Xxx

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    1. Is there a medal for cycling, talking and eating jelly babies at the same time?

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  6. Lovely! I love cycling too! Before the wee on came along, I cycled everywhere, including to work and back - great way to stay fit and keep your bum toned! I loved watching the passing of the seasons too! X

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  7. Thinking of taking up a new fitness hobby, you might just have persuaded me to have a go at cycling - I'm nearly 41 so not too old!

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    1. Once you get over the 'oh heck, I haven't been on a bike for 20 years' thing, it's great.

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