Exciting day today. My cousin Jan and I took up cycling again at 70+. I haven't been on a bike for 60 years except to ride around the yard on my children's bikes - and that was many years ago.
We hired bicycles from the local shop in Woodside and a very charming young man explained the do's and don'ts of bike riding. We decided that the seats were going to be painful, so we each invested in a pair of padded cycling pants. Thank goodness we did! He briefly explained the gears and the hand brakes - both Jan and I go back to the days when bikes had pedal brakes and no gears. Here is a photo of us in our gear.
That's me on the left
We set out on the Amy Gillett bike track as neither of us was confident about sharing the road with cars. I have to say that our first efforts were somewhat wobbly and I had trouble stopping because I forgot to use the hand brakes - the gears had me totally flummoxed.
At one stage I tried to stop without really thinking about what to do with my feet and the bike got away from me and I fell onto the grassy verge. Jan was so concerned with my fall that that she lost concentration and fell as well - in sympathy I think.
However, that was the one and only mishap and before long we were tootling along happily with only the occasional wobble. We mastered the art of stopping, using the brakes and the gears. We rode about 5 kms , the last part of it uphill. At this stage I called a stop because I was out of breath, my rear end was very painful and my legs were aching.
So, we turned around and headed back. I figure it took us about 90 minutes to ride the 5 kms because we were slow to start with and it was uphill. To our amazement the home journey was a breeze - downhill all the way and we were able to do a lot of free wheeling. It took us about 25 minutes to get back. What fun!!
The only down for the day was when we stopped at a Winery on the way back and had the worst coffee I have had for a long time.
We are already planning our next trip and we intend to look around for good second hand cycles. We are hooked. Surprisingly I am not the slightest bit sore - probably all the swimming we have been doing has made us fitter than we thought.