Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pushing harder



I have a new bike – it folds up so it can be stowed in my car. I drive to the car park, then cycle in to the city. Being a folding bike, it has smaller wheels than most. You have to push harder with smaller wheels.

A folded bike
Our city has lots of cycle paths, and those paths are sometimes separate paved lanes, and sometimes red paved areas on the road itself.  Though most of my journeys are driven, the six miles a day I do by bike provide a very different perspective of ‘road experience’. The pot holes and road repairs transform from an uncomfortable bump in a car to a potential flat tyre, bent wheel or even a crash to the ground.  So I have to swerve round the bigger holes, and be  cautious about wandering into the traffic lane.  

I am reminded of when my children were young and the kids were in pushchairs.  Every bumpy pavement, uneven surface and especially the cars parked on pavements, made navigating my way around our town’s streets an obstacle course.  It’s much the same now I’m back on two wheels.
Parked cars represent a new threat – the suddenly opened passenger door, or being in the driver’s blind spot when they pull out.  Drivers swear at cyclists, cyclists swear at pedestrians, pedestrians swear at cyclists and drivers …

It seems that whatever our mode of transport, that’s our world, and everyone else is the problem – we are pushing against the tide instead of riding with it.  It’s hard cycling, just like life – it’s harder up hills, there are obstacles you have to negotiate, you are always someone else’s bête noire, and sometimes there are accidents. 

And you do have to push harder with small wheels. 

Photo credits: 
Folding bike  http://www.ternbicycles.com
Pot hole: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/03/potholes-on-britains-roads-some-things.html
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