GET ON YOUR BIKE AND RIDE
Apparently riding a bike is something that once learned is never forgotten. Whoever came up with this genius notion clearly didn’t count on me. I rode a bike (albeit my brother’s BMX and not very often) into my early teens before abandoning it for the bus or the safer option of walking.
During the early nineties on a backpacking stint in Europe, I hopped back on for a tour of the Loire Valley and to discover the outskirts of Amsterdam. The latter ended in a collision with my cycling buddy that saw me flying through the air and into a bed of tulips. It was a sign to go back to walking or bussing it and one that I would hold myself to until a trip to France on a Scenic river cruise.
The river ships are stocked with bikes which are used for organised tours or for anyone wanting to explore the various towns along the Garonne.
I adopted the “get right back on the horse” mentality well over 20 years after my last ride.
The initial, cautious kilometres threatened to replicate The Great Tulip Flattening of 1992.
The guide kept imploring, “Can you go faster?”
“Yes,” I would answer, “but I don’t want to!”
Then, wouldn’t you know it, after a while I got the hang of it again. I’m not saying the yellow jersey was ever in my sight, but with a bit of practice I soon discovered my bike could take me all over the wonderful town of Bordeaux in a faster, more efficient way than my legs ever could. JANA FRAWLEY NATIONAL TRAVEL