If you’ve ever perused my ‘About Me’ page, you’ll see that one of the things I am is a bicyclist. In truth, I’m a great many more than would ever fit on a list as short at that one, but who wants to know about the time I … well, that’s another story for another post.
Let’s begin with my bicycle. It’s not your everyday bicycle. It’s a little top heavy, being rather high in the saddle and short in the shanks. This is because I can only bend my right knee so far, the result of a rather unfortunate three-way collision between myself, my motorcycle, and a very large truck, more than a quarter of a century ago. I explained this to the folk at the bike shop and they very kindly spent the afternoon adapting a bike to suit my needs. Here’s a shout out to them
Not long after I purchased my beautiful green bicycle, (the summer of 2008) I fell over when standing still at an intersection. (I recall I did exactly the same thing when I first rode my motorcycle way back in 1981!) The only excuse I could come up with at the time was that the bicycle and I were not well acquainted with each other. Once I got that first and embarrassing fall out of the way I never looked back, nor have I fallen off again, which is quite an achievement given how clumsy my first few weeks of bicycling were.
I don’t look like your everyday bicyclist either. I’m not the type to wear snug fitting, brightly coloured spandex, or any other fabric ending in ‘ex’. Give me something loose-fitting that flaps in the breeze so I can really feel as though I’m moving along. Although, now that it’s November in Vancouver, I’m more likely to be seen wearing a tasteful bright yellow rain poncho over lots of layers and as many flashing lights as I can possible attach to all parts of my person and my bicycle.
Nor do I race along the road as though my very life depended on it with muscles poised to jump out of the afore-mentioned tight clothes at a moments notice. I do have muscles, but they are discreetly covered by an abundance of other sorts of body tissue. I don’t speed along anywhere unless it’s downhill. (As far as I’m concerned, the only up side of a hill is the down side) Then I tend to yell, a lot! Other than that, I amble.
I ride along the by-ways, and bike tracks that are so abundant in my city, and avoid major roads where I can. The last thing I want to breathe are the out-gassings of internal combustion engines, no matter how ‘fuel-efficient’ and ‘green’ they are.
So, I amble along via the scenic route. There’s so much more to be seen that way. That’s probably why I like writing novels. There’s so much more to my stories than just getting from ‘Chapter 1 – The Beginning’ to ‘The End’ in the straightest line possible.
And just so you know, I have never started a story with ‘Chapter 1 – The Beginning’!
“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race” – H.G. Wells