Guest-post Spudballoo: What I saw on my bike today

Spudballoo writing at Chez Spud has been a featured blogger on a number of Saturday Six posts.  Needless to say I was thrilled at the chance to have her as a guest-poster. On her own blog she has recently started a series called “what I saw today” which I absolutely love so I asked her to write a special version for me.

=============================================

Until recently I hadn’t been on a bike for 20 years. This is such a puzzle to me as, in my head, I’m only about 20 years old. Clearly there is some kind of strange space/time continuum ‘thing’ going on as I can’t possibly be old enough to make bold statements like, ‘I haven’t been on a bike for 20 years’. If you suspect me to be kidding myself, please do me a kindness and refrain from mentioning it. My tender 39 year old ego is oh..so…very precious…

I’m not sure why it’s been so long since I last cycled? Mostly laziness, having a car and living in London (or, more to the point, the horrendous London traffic). The bottom line is that I never even considered cycling anywhere once I owned a car. Hear that noise? That’s the sound of a million environmentalists’ hearts shattering in to pieces…weep.

Fast forward those mysterious 20 years and I’m married to a very keen cyclist and now have two keen cyclist boys (age 5 and 3). There’s no way around the fact that we have become A Cycling Family and it quickly became apparent I was going to have to join the party. Very reluctantly, I might add since I’m not especially fit and I’m terrified of traffic.

So, earlier this summer, I booked myself a 1:1 ‘cycling confidence’ lesson. I wasn’t even sure I could actually still cycle, and I knew I needed some help with cycling on the road confidently and all that stuff. I was nervous, actually I was terrified. I didn’t even have a bike but I muddled through the lesson and I LOVED it!

No one was more surprised than me by my sudden passion for two wheels but, sure enough, I was soon to be found pottering around the country lanes near our home each evening. I borrowed a bike and off I wobbled, taking advantage of the last few weeks of late summer evening light. Day by day I went a little further, and felt a little more confident until eventually I tackled a longer journey in to our local town to [DRUM ROLL] have a coffee.

Frankly I felt like having a cocktail by the time I got there, it was such a ‘big’ moment for me…I’d cycled from home, in daylight, with much more traffic than I was used to and had made it to the cafe without killing myself or crying. SUCCESS! Another] new hobby has been born and now I’m busy with a cycling course and booking myself on organised cycle rides. And buying padded pants. But that’s a whole other post in itself…


One of my other hobbies is photography. I’m a very keen photographer and I take photos every day, lugging my gigantic Big Girl’s Camera around with me. It quickly became apparent that my cycling jaunts were also going to be photography jaunts too – they are perfect bedfellows. I hadn’t appreciated how much more you see on a bike, just from traveling more slowly…and how flexible you can be..stopping where you want with no bother or danger…ditching the bike and walking a bit…changing your route to follow something interesting or some beautiful light. You just SEE more and you see it DIFFERENTLY on a bike.


That said, I’m too lazy to lug my DSLR around with me on the bike. It’s just too heavy and cumbersome…so I use my iPhone. I’ve long loved the iPhone camera and it really comes in to its own for bike ride snaps. I stick it in my back pocket and off I go. Often I don’t even need to get off the bike to get the shot, which appeals to my lazy nature. The only problem is actually making any progress on a ride because I want to snap everything. Also (ssshhh) I use my photography breaks as an excuse for a breather. Tough hill? Take a photo. Legs wobbly? Take a photo. Big truck coming up behind? Take a photo. Win…win…win.

To document my rides and the things I see I have a series on my blog called ‘What I saw on my bike today…’ which speaks for itself really. A photo or two or five from each ride, with a few thoughts on the ride, what I saw, what I learned and even what I smelt! Another revelation to me is how you use all your senses when you cycle, I never knew that a field of potatoes smells like, well, potatoes. You just don’t get that in a car!

I’m reserving judgment until the winter has passed but, cautiously, I would say that I’m fast becoming a cycling addict. I got on my bike again so I could cycle as a family activity but, in fact, what I love is cycling solo…just me, the bike, the open road and my trusty iPhone camera for company. Snap snap snap!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments

  1. What fabulous photos, I feel like I was riding along with you.

  2. Me too! Gorgeous photos.

  3. Your pictures are gorgeous as usual. You will get addicted to biking just because you love to take pictures!!!!

  4. Hello Spud and Andi! Thought I’d pop over and see what’s happening. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the pics of the 2 barefoot Spudsters with their cycle helmets on. You almost, yes, almost got me excited about getting on a bike again…I’ve been seeing these cool ‘cruiser’ bikes in Telluride. There is a very pretty ‘spa-girl’ bike that I want. When Pinkie-camera gets repaired, I’ll send you a photo. …well off to explore Andi’s site…french culture topic has my interest piqued.

  5. Lol…I find myself saying, “I haven’t done ….in 20 years” a lot recently too. Funny how time flies…it just seems like yesterday.

    Enjoyed your post
    -Catherine

Speak Your Mind

*

Bonjour!

Bonjour!

There lots of places to track me down and keep up with all the action!

You can follow me on Twitter I tweet out some of the 400 blogs I read on a weekly basis; interesting articles I find as well as photos from Instagram and FourSquare check-ins! I check in on Facebook a couple of times a day and post Foodspotting photos and other fun things I find to keep you entertained. I am slightly addicted to Pinterest too and try to keep things going on Google+!

I blog daily so you'll want to subscribe to the RSS for this blog or get your posts straight to your email box.

It works both ways...you can drop me a line at MisadventuresWithAndi AT gmail DOT com with any questions or requests and I'll more than happily take them into consideration!