I Want to Ride my Bicycle, I Want to Ride my Bike….

My brother and sister in-law recently posted photos of their last trip to visit us.
It reminded me of a blog I had wanted to write but had forgotten.
Here in Holland, we ride our bikes every day.  My bike is worth more than our car, and we each have two.  I have the bakfiets and a normal bike, and Dave has his racer and an every day bike.

My bakfiets – fits two kids, a stroller and the weekly groceries
In Sydney, we both owned mountain bikes and got on them quite often.  One Miss A was born, we got a baby seat for one of them and she joined us on a few rides.

Miss A and Dad, November 2012 at our local beach.
 We forget that it’s not an every day occurrence for our visitors to cycle everywhere but most of them, when they visit, love to give it a burl.  Uncle C and Aunty E (or Oom C and Tante E as they like to refer to themselves) were no exception.  Aunty E has the best sense of adventure and her spirit is contagious.
So here we go, one morning, after a fairly decent drinking session the night before, we head off on a family ride.  We were going to go the woods, followed by a pancake house.
Its hard for me to judge how fast others are cycling, my bike is electric so I tend to ride a bit faster.  Anyway, after about 20 minutes Aunt E is huffing and puffing away, now Aunt E is a comparative spring chicken, at the time, not quite 30!

All smiles as we head off
She felt quite embarrassed, I told her not to fret – Holland doesn’t have many hills, but where we live, there are definite ‘inclines’.  I tell Aunt E – don’t panic, it’s not that you’re unfit, it’s just that it’s hilly.  We go slower.  Aunt E is working up quite the sweat.  At one stage, she’s threatening to pull over and have a hurl. 

“Look Mum, no hands!”

 The weather was warm, she ditched her jacket.  It helped…. for a minute.
Anyway, we arrive.  Poor Aunt E is a little worse for wear, a little pale and unusually quiet.
As we head off from the woods, to the pancake house, she and Uncle C decide to swap bikes.  Well, that made a difference, off she wooshed.  But Uncle C – well, he struggled.
I put it down to cycling requiring a different kind of fitness.  We couldn’t work it out.
Then we got home……  Dave went to move the bike, it was quite difficult.  It turns out that our last visitor (my darling niece) had had a little stack.  The wheel was so buckled it was JAMMED against the frame.  We couldn’t even make it move with 2 hands.  Poor Aunty E had ridden about 10 kms like this!

All without complaining.  I love that girl!


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