Wednesday, 9 August 2017

My Queen Juliana bike.

Yesterday a photo on Facebook brought back an old desire. It was a new blue streamlined bicycle. I loved it.
When I lived in Essex I cycled everywhere. It was flat but the east wind made it hard work at times.
When we first arrived I borrowed my daughters bike during the first year.
We lived close to the river and a path took me straight into town to tie up at Marks and Spencer's.
I needed to get a bike of my own, that was clear...so off I went to look at the second hand bike shop.
One day I saw "the bike". It was love at first sight!
She was navy blue with very large wheels and a graceful design. A sit up and beg bike. She needed new tyres, new brake pads and a lamp.
Once done up she looked wonderful and I rode her home with pride.
She was a Dutch bike and when my neighbours saw me riding her they christened her Queen Juliana. Apparently the Dutch royal family rode similar bikes!
I loved her. I put a very large basket on her handle bars and from then on did all my shopping on her. It was easier to get into town by bike than struggle to find parking places.
We had lots of adventures together....I rode her to school as well as to the station.
Whilst I was going in and out of London producing plays Queen Juliana was fastened to the railings at the station. . On arrival back, often very late at night I rode her through the park to get home safely.
I knew I couldn't bring her to Cornwall....there were far too many hills.
So I left her with a friend....
I was fortunate in my middle years to have ridden a bike every day.
I think that's why I am still a fairly fit old lady...all that regular exercise kept my blood pressure down...and my heart pumping.
The picture of the new lightweight Raleigh yesterday produced an unexpected desire to own one again.
The people who made my vacuum cleaner make one...but I know that where I live now would make riding impossible, short of loading it into the car to take it out! And that would be a nonsense!
Good memories though!



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2 comments:

  1. I also have many happy memories of the bicycle I rode every day to school in my teenage years and which took me on many adventures with friends. I've had 2 other bikes since, but none I held in such affection as my old 'Hercules' bike. I no longer ride a bike as the rural roads in our area have become too dangerous for me to risk it any more.

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  2. When I lived in Belgium I rode a bike (everyone did) to and from work about three miles away. In the village that I lived in, most of the streets were cobbled ouch, but the main roads were fine. This bike braked by back peddling, which was a novelty, and caused some unexpected problems, as I sometimes back peddled to slow down, and stopped suddenly. I suppose I should have got a modern bike, but this was a situp and beg bike, like yours, but third or fourth hand - practical, but elderly. Eventually, I could afford a car, so the bike was handed onto someone else, as it was to me. No cash changed hands on either occasion.

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