I take up bicycling.

I haul the old machine from the shed, where it’s been resting for a few years.

I have not bicycled for ages and ages, having given up reluctantly due to my arse problem. But I am in the mood at present to get back onto all sorts of horses, and bicycling seems a good start.

Chuff. Chuff. Chuff. I chuff, huff and puff as I force myself up the gentle but long hill to the Village Shop. I feel the muscles in my legs working away, tightening, getting fitter with every thrust. Who is interested in owning an abusive Wii Fit when there is bicycling to be done on a sunny day?

I pick up my newspaper. The Village Shop Lady looks at me in some concern.

“Been bicycling,” I breathe, handing over my small change. This will make it easier on the way back, except I now have the weight of a newspaper to consider.

I retrieve the bicycle from the rack at the front of the shop and set off down the hill. Wheeeeeeeee!!! This is brilliant – the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, not having to pedal at all except a few thrusts to get me going and a couple of top-up pedals as I pass Eddie’s house. I realise that I have missed this feeling immensely. It occurs to me, as I sail down the hill towards the Cottage, that bicycling on a summer’s day is possibly the nicest, nicest occupation in the world.

I fall off my bicycle.

“Ow!” I say, as I mis-time a small stunt and fail to make the raised area beyond my driveway. “Aarrghhh!” as the bicycle disappears from underneath me.

I dust myself off, put the bicycle away crossly, and retrieve my newspaper from the ground.

I stomp in to the Cottage to sit down in an armchair. From across the room, the Wii gives me a sarcastic look.

26 Comments

  1. YOUR arse problem? Try putting yourself in the neighbours’ shoes as they are forced to bear witness to your endless, property-devaluing public displays.

    Methinks it is your village that has the arse problem.

  2. I had an interesting cycling experience the other day when I decided that the weather was so lovely and warm that I should wear a skirt while cycling.

    This was a bad idea.

    As I peddled, my skirt raised higher and higher up my thighs, until even builders were rendered speechless. I pulled my skirt back down to preserve my modesty, alighting on a new plan.

    But have you ever tried to peddle whilst simultaneously pressing your knees together?

    So I gracefully hopped off my bike, to reassess the skirt situation. My skirt got caught on the bike seat and I toppled over, bike following.

    So hear this, JonnyB: at least you don’t have to cycle in a skirt.

  3. I have recently been pressured to join a cycling friend. Said friend has helpfully provided a very-nice-indeed road bike (Orbea for the curious), replaced the tyres and stem, and provided useful advice on things like how to properly sneer at steel-bike people when one is riding a full-carbon number. Then I was invited to observe a small event which involved riding 50 miles, gaining 3,000 feet in altitude and, at one point, climbing to 11,000 feet. It took the cyclists four hours. I drove it in just over an hour and wasn’t even out of breath. I think cyclists might be a bit dim.

  4. Jonny, bicycles were made to be left in the garage, or shed. It’s the way things were meant to be. When you get the urge to repeat that which you have not done since your teens then a good rule of thumb is – don’t, it hurts!

  5. I quit bicycling years ago because of an arse problem. Now the arse problem has gotten considerably bigger, as it were. I wonder if Jonny’s accident can be put down to a bigger arse problem as well.

  6. Blueskies, what on earth makes you assume Jonny wasn’t wearing a skirt? This is rural Norfolk, remember! This is Jonny, remember!

    Jonny, why do I just know you’re pronouncing it “bye-cye-cling”? I have one and a half byecyecles in my shed. I did have two, but my son decided to fix his, using parts gleaned from mine!

  7. On yer bike Jonny!

  8. Well I’d like to add that I managed to get some bread today and a cornish pasty without any further problems. So I think you can call me Lance Armstrong now.

  9. I would kill myself if I got on a bike now. I do own a bike, (I think) – it shares space with cobwebs and crap in the garage. My lady’s bits wouldn’t cope with it ;o)

  10. i had my bike shipped over with me when i moved to the mad place. I haven’t sat on the damn thing since.

    I’m concerned about your arse.

  11. If you’d stuck the paper down your cycling shorts, it would have deadened the pain. You can also do the same with the pasty as long as it’s not a Gingsters chicken and ham slice: http://worldfrommywindow.blogspot.com/2009/05/pasty-tea-and-toast-will-you.html

  12. I bought a new bike (well, I chose it, my husband paid for it and my daughter paid for all the etceteras, like the panniers I use all the time and the helmet that sits in the porch like a talisman of protection) 19 months ago and I can assure you, having used it regularly since, I now receive compliments on my shapely legs. And bum. Especially when my skirt rides up. Persevere, dear boy.

  13. Whatever you do, don’t give up, Jonny! You’ve made the first step on the road to a better world! Just keep cycling a little more every day and before you know it you’ll get creamed by a truck or young Twonil’s vengeful bus. Hey presto! A better world for the village, as Spazmo so eloquently points out, and a better world for you (ie, the next one).

    Win-win, I call it…

  14. you might consider a fairly recent invention where they have an internal combustion engine as a part of the bicycle.
    You have to do remarkably little peddling.
    I think they are called motor bikes for some reason.

  15. Arse problem, you say?

    You don’t have an arse problem; you have a seat problem. Next time just strap a sofa cushion (or one of those decorative pillows people fling on sofas) on the bike seat and peddle away.

  16. you write really nicely

  17. You give it up but pick it up again? You are a re-cycler! Kudos.

  18. Well I’d like to add that I managed to get some bread today and a cornish pasty without any further problems.

    All those carbs are just going to make the arse problem worse.

  19. Hullo, New Commenters, and welcome.

    I didn’t do my bicycling exercise today, but plan to do lots next week. (I have a break at the weekends, to recharge). Plus I will be playing bowls tonight, so there’s a bit of a workout.

  20. Oh and golly – thank you Fari.

  21. I also have an arse problem, I should probably get it looked at properly before I head over to America 🙁

  22. How far is it to the village shop, Jonny? Would you get more exercise carrying your bike?

  23. It’s at least a quarter of a mile. But as I say, uphill.

  24. Doesn’t one feel a fool – and I didn’t have a bicycle?

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  26. I too started up bike riding with the finacée, things went well the first day, the second day however my but cheeks felt like thay had gone 20 rounds with the little chinese guy who beat up the English boxer.

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