by Steven Beasley
I hate my wife’s bike, it is one of those from that guy Hamant at Powered Bicycles in Long Eaton. He advised her to get one of those bikes that look like they came off the Polder in the Netherlands. It is almost sit-up-and beg with a soft chunky seat and a basket at the front, which would be ideal for carrying the knitting but since she does not knit, she carries my beer for me.
It has a Sturmey Archer 3 gear thingy, which I said was totally inadequate for the mountains round here in Whitby but I was over-ridden, so to speak, and Hamant got his way with her and she took his advice and went for this three speed jobbie. I did my own thing and went for one that has more gears than our cat has fleas.
Anyway, we go out for a ride and she zooms off into the distance whilst I bring up the rear. She stops and sits on a seat until I catch up with her and then as soon as I sit down to get my breath and regain my composure she hops back on her velocipede and beggars off again.
My pride is battered and she can see this so she lets me ride in front so that we don’t get parted and it gives me the opportunity to restore myself to my rightful position (in front) with an air of masculine dominance.
One day we were out on the old railway track and decided to sit a while on a seat overlooking the sea and soon a lurid lycra-clad came haring up the hill on his carbon fibre speed machine and a he sped past she whispered to me ‘Do you think we will catch him up’ – ‘Don’t be daft’ I said – I mean after all I am sixty eight and whilst she is a mere slip of a thing, she nevertheless is not twenty one! After a while we got back on our chargers and hit the hot button.
To our astonishment there was lycra-clad, just around the next corner, making heavy going up to the summit and my wife went for it. She passed him like a bat out hell and as she did so, lycra-clad nearly fell of his steed with stunned, amazement and sheer fright at the sight of my missus disappearing over the horizon with her legs splayed out, hanging on to her hat and with my beer bottles rattling with applause in the wee basket, whilst he waivered in her slip-steam.
I did not disgrace myself either because just as lycra-clad had almost composed himself (and cleaned himself up), I flew by and gave him a cheeky wink (it’s that lycra you know) and he gave me a menacing glare that told me he was like Armstrong – he did not like being beaten at his own game!
One day we came out of Whitby and up towards the abbey on the steep Green Lane incline - it is so steep that the cows up there have surgical boots to enable then to walk round the hillside. We were making good going and soon caught up with an old lady trudging slowly up the rise and as we zoomed by she nearly had a heart attack poor soul and all she say was ‘CRIKEY’
Yes they are that good – we have yet to find a hill round here that we cannot ride up. People say we are lazy beggars but I disagree, we still pedal along as you would on a normal bike but since the bikes go up hill without having to dismount, we feel that we are getting more exercise but without the intense heart busting effort.
We say – Go for it, just like our seventy two year old mate did, who was so taken with our bikes that he bought one too and now he can go to the pub along the cycle track and have a couple of beers without having to worry about drinking and driving. So far he has not fallen off!
Steven Beasley, Whitby