Almost all of my life I've had a bike. I have loved my bikes with a fierce passion that surprised even me at times. I had to fight for my first bike....having been promised one if I passed the eleven plus, nothing happened until my brother failed his and got a bike as a consolation prize. The unwritten law was that as a boy he needed one more than me!
My first bike came just in time for me to cycle to my first job...which was around 10 miles away up a very big hill!
I took the bike to college with me and still had it for my first job in teaching. By that time it was very battered and it got left behind in a house move!
There were no more push bikes for a while....my Norton Villiers Triumph moped replaced the humble pushbike until I got to Essex.
There really ancient old people could overtake me on equally ancient bikes as I walked my dog through the local park and I looked out for a second hand one .
I found the bike of my dreams. She was Dutch, ancient and very beautiful, a sit up and beg bike with huge wheels called I think a Gazelle .My neighbours called it my Queen Juliana bike as I cycled in and out of town with the basket on the front filled with goodies. There was a cycle path leading along the river and coming up at Marks and Spencer....I could be there in a fraction of the time it took to queue for a parking place with the car!
When I was ready to move to Cornwall the bike was once more left behind. I left it leaning up against a wall at the local recycling centre. Tears did run down my face at the time but I knew that I'd never ride her here....I just hope she found a good home together with my moped which was left in the same place!
There are many cycling stories....too many but one or two may pop at at times..as I contemplate the latest offer.
Someone has offered me a bike!
Where I live there is a flat road which for about a mile on each side of the house, after which hills with improbable gradients flow ever onwards....I can not at my age take up biking again....I've grown soft with old age.
On the other hand I have got a barn...........