I had been living overseas in India for almost a year, and had managed to get really quite tubby (I blame all the fabulous food!). I came home, and as my car had died the year before, and I couldn’t afford another one, I announced to my mother that I wanted to get a bicycle to get around, in order to get fit and lose a bit of weight.
My mother was understandably dubious about this plan. I’m not the sportiest of people, and my decision to take up jogging two years earlier had fizzled out after 2 or 3 aborted attempts to wheeze my way around the village….
However, she found someone in Sudbury (our nearest town) who was selling their daughter’s pink bike for £20 and duly drove me over there to collect it. I was a bit nervous about making the journey home by myself, as I hadn’t ridden a bike for years, although it wasn’t far (about 5 miles).
Mum laughed my concerns away, and said that if I wanted to get fit, this was the perfect way to start, and anyway, it’s not like I’d have forgotten how to ride a bike.
So I hopped onto the bike, cringing as I wobbled off down the road, aware that mum and the bloke who was now £20 richer were both watching me with amusement.
Mum drove past me in the car with a wave as I pedalled along, trying not to swerve into parked cars or get freaked out by traffic.
I was just heading out of town along the country road that heads to our village, about 20 minutes later when this car whizzed past and came to a halt in front of me. My mum leapt out of the car and handed me a bike helmet. Turns out as soon as she’d seen me wobbling my way uncertainly down the road, she’d suddenly realised that I may not have been exaggerating my poor cycling skills and thought I’d better have some safety equipment, so she’d raced to Halfords, bought me a helmet, caught up to me and insisted I wear it the rest of the way home, “just in case”.
I didn’t come to any harm, although she quite rightly predicted that I didn’t take to cycling and my urge to get fit died a swift death, like so many other fads I had been through before.