I want to ride my bicycle

Bike 1

I don’t have a car. I sold mine a few years ago after it burnt too many holes in my wallet. It’s not so bad without a car. PT in Brisbane is reasonable and I love to walk, especially when it’s raining. I like to hang my hand out of the umbrella and feel the cool rain drops sprinkle their magic across my skin.

As lovely as this all is, doing my weekly market shop by foot has become more of a chore than a pleasure. My neck and back don’t like being laden with heavy bags full of delicious fruit and veg. And I don’t particularly like looking like a crazy bag lady either. So I decided to get a bike.

My lovely family gave her to me as a gift for my birthday. Originally I had my eye on a vintage-style bike from Reid Cycles. Unfortunately their bikes and their service left a lot to be desired (if you’re thinking of getting a Reid bike, sadly, the reviews are not good).

Luckily I looked elsewhere and ended up with this beauty from New Farm Bikes.

Bike 2

The salesman at this shop really knew his stuff and was super patient with me while I made up my mind. He allowed me to test ride the bike, threw in a free service and a bike lock, and answered all my silly amateur cyclist questions (How do I use the bike lock? Can I ride on the footpath? Do I need lights?). There really is so much to know about cycling – helmets and panniers and pumps, oh my!

Gosh cycling is fun! It is what I imagine flying to feel like – peaceful and calming with fresh, cool air whisking across my face. But I’ll be honest, I’m also a little scared. Scared of main roads, angry motorists and most of all, the serious profesh cyclists in their Lycra peddling at crazy speeds along bike paths. Eek! The first day I rode to work, I was shaking so much I could barely hang on to the handle bars (good times).

In saying that, after a few short rides, I’ve decided cycling is the bomb – it is good for me and great for the environment so I’m not going to let a little fear get in the way. That’s why, for the next 30 days, I’m committing to finding my cycling legs – I’ll cycle to work and home every day, to the markets, to the shops, to coffee with a friend – basically everywhere I used to walk will be replaced with cycling.

If you see us scooting around Brisbane do come and say hi. I’ll give you a sweaty cycling cuddle.

Bike 3

Do you cycle? And if you do, do you ever get scared?

Thanks to Koren for her amazing photog skills.

Alana

12 Responses to I want to ride my bicycle

  1. homelifesimplified - deb February 20, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    wish i had this post 2 weeks ago lol – i am terrified of cycling (been 11+ years since i was on a bike) and just ordered a new vintage style bike from reid recently – waiting for it’s arrival. praying all works out fine.

    can’t wait to hear how your month goes – i am going to start with bike paths and hope to graduate to not being terrified to be in the street – plus brisbane is so hilly lol xx

    • Alana February 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      Hi Deb! Oh yes, the hills are hard work. There are many I have to walk up but I hope to get better as the time goes on. Combine that with the humidity and I look like a soaked beetroot when I arrive at my destination. I can’t wait for the weather to cool down a little.

      Just on your Reid bike – I would truly urge you to consider cancelling your order and going elsewhere. I spoke to a lot of bike places here in Brisbane after I cancelled my order with Reid and they all said the same thing – Reid bikes = terrible bikes.

      But if not, I truly hope you get a good one out of the batch. Which colour did you choose? They have so many pretty colours. I wanted the mint green one.

      Please let me know how you go with the cycling. I would love to hear all about your adventures. x

  2. Deb February 20, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Lol i ordered the mint one. Might have to talk to hubby. Thy said it would be
    ready mid feb and not called yet so could technically say it is too late and i want to cancel.
    Not sure what to do hmmm hubby would not be happy if i bought a crappy bike lol

    • Alana February 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

      Oh the mint colour is so pretty! I ordered my bike from Reid in November, they told me it would be ready end of December. By the start of February I was still waiting… it wasn’t good. A similar thing has happened to a friend of mine. I’ve also told her she should consider cancelling her order and looking elsewhere. Sorry to throw a spanner in the works but I would hate for you to get anything less than what you really want. Let me know what you decide to do. I can highly recommended the Melbourne bike – I’ve been riding mine for 2 weeks now and it’s beautiful to ride. The seat is so comfortable, the bike is light enough to lift upstairs, and it’s a 7 speed so is great for all the hills around here. It was slightly more expensive than the Reid bike but I prefer to pay a little more and get something that is better quality. xx

  3. homelifesimplified - deb February 21, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    HI again Alana – well i just cancelled the order!! i don’t see anything called “melbourne” on the new farm site – is there another name / number it was called

    thanks for the honest heads up – i trust it was meant to be – hey replied today that it is just reaching the warehouse and they could send it to me directly monday but if want built etc at store not sure when – i decided to let it go

    • Alana February 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

      Hi Deb! So glad you did. I’m sure you won’t regret it. Yes, the Melbourne bike isn’t listed on the New Farm site but if you call them, the lovely lady that owns the shop will be able to talk you through the features of the bike. I didn’t even know this bike existed until I spoke to her. You may want to mention that you had a Reid bike ordered but you cancelled it. She will then understand the type of bike and price range you are after and can talk you through your options. You can check out the different colours and makes of the Melbourne bike at this online store: http://melbournebicyclecentre.com/bikes/womens-bikes/retro Some of them are out of stock at the moment but I’m sure if you call New Farm Bikes they will be able to help you. Good luck! Let me know how you go xx

  4. Deb @ Vegie Project February 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    That’s so cool! Cycling is such a great eco friendly way to get around. I wish Sydney was a bit more bike-friendly. When I visited my sister in the Netherlands last year we rode bikes everywhere, it was fun but I must admit it was a little scary at first too hehe.

    • Alana February 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      Hi Deb, Australia does seem a bit behind on the cycling scene unfortunately. In Brisbane there are bicycle lanes which often disappear without warning. One minute you’re cycling in your own lane, the next minute you’re cycling with cars and trucks! It’s a bit terrifying. But I do love it. And, like you say, is such an environmentally-friendly way to travel. x

  5. Katie @ Pick Any Two March 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    Beautiful photos! I unfortunately do not live in a very bike-friendly town, but I really wish I did!

    • Alana March 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

      Thanks Katie. Where do you live? I wouldn’t say Brisbane is the bike-friendliest place but we do have a few good bike paths. x

  6. Lori Mauger March 4, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Lucky you– good weather, good exercise! Enjoy!

    • Alana March 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      Hi Lori, now that the weather is cooling down here in Brissy it is definitely much nicer to ride. When I first started riding, there were many times when I arrived at my destination looking like a water-drenched tomato. Lots of fun. x