Making Light of Advancing Years


By the time I turned sixty (and everything went south rapidly) I’ve found it more and more difficult to ride my bicycle. Downhills became hard work: the flats felt like I was climbing Ben Nevis with an anvil on my back: and uphills…well uphills were impossible. Even pushing the bike up any gradient was hard work. In fact I was becoming concerned that I might be experiencing a heart problem. But a coincidental day in Accident & Emergency, on a heart monitor, soon put that fear to rest. So when I spotted a bike in fine fettle for sale at the side of the road at a very nice price, I was tempted. My daughter convinced me. “Nice colours.” She said. “Your favourites. And shiny mudguards too.”

I bought it…

 

And, oh my, what a transformation. It may have a steel frame (the older one is lightweight aluminium) and a weird seat that looks as though it will disappear up my rectum – taking my goolies along for the trip – but it’s so much more comfortable (if you discount the absense of suspension). And the effort to ride it…well there is no comparison: I now  ride up hill: on the flat I’ve yet to be overtaken by young boys on their back wheel, or ladies in lycra, or anyone else for that matter. And downhill is now limited by the effectiveness of the block brakes (not very). Journey times are now halved, and I don’t have to take a fifteen minute pulse-checking lie-down to recover after the ride. It’s like I’m 59 again! The reason for this? The previous owner kept it in a dry shed and actually performed maintenance (spit-spit, I hate maintenance) on it. So what have I learned?  Well I’ve learned this. I’m not too old and knackered to ride: I just need to look after the bike to stay young. So will someone kindly pass me the chain lube?

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