Anniversaries are wonderful miles stone markers of fond memories and not so fond for some yet none the less they act as a bench mark in life. This last Monday was the anniversary of five years completed in writing a “Cycling with Eddie” column for the Bendigo Weekly.
What does five years mean to you in your cycling world? Your fifth Bay in a Day ride and many more to come. Five kilos of weight loss, since being on the bike and hopefully more to come off when the weather gets warmer. Five years of cycling and not having fallen off. You are onto your fifth bike and looking forward to another upgrade. Your fifth year of racing and about to get your first win or you have celebrated five wins and looking forward a swag more. You’re five years older and wiser and have the cycling routine down pat that it fits well with your family routine. Your worst memory was five punctures in one day on the long distance ride that turned into a nightmare. You would not mind being given $5 for every time you have ridden out around the goose neck.
I have some fond memories of my childhood cycling and recollect my first bike being a very small frame girl’s bike with 12 inch wheels (I never did grow much) which was green in colour and probably if really known could well have had five owners before it was my turn to own this marvellous machine of fond memories. It was harvesting time and my eldest brother, was helping my father cart in sheaf hay, and building a hay stack which was a work of art in itself. My brother 18 months older than me was on his bike and we were having races around the hay stack much to the frustration of brother and father having to work.
It must have been a break for some light entertainment as they watched over the side of the increasing height of the hay stack of us two youngsters racing around. I think from memory I decided to turn back as my brother had ridden away from me at great speed and double back the opposite way. As he came around the corner of the hay stack our front wheel hit wheel to wheel almost perfectly that both bikes stopped abruptly with the rear wheel through the momentum rising up in the air, launching us both off our seats hitting head to head and falling back down on our bikes. This story has been told over and over and has not been embellished as did happen as recalled here.
Two other great memories of the first bike and being around five years old was following my older brother down the driveway of our farm and riding over a five foot brown snake without realising we had done it. The other involving all siblings, our parents had taken us to see Daktari, a movie starring John Wayne about the catching of animals in Africa for a zoo. My eldest brother being an innovating wag decided it would be good to reenact the lassoing of the animals with us riding around on our bikes as the unsuspecting animals. Oh what could have been when you look back over our younger and not so younger years the results could have been disastrous.
The last five years has been a privilege and honour to have been able to access the lives of many local cycling identities and share their stories of courage resolve and determination. Being given a platform to play a safety advocacy role for all shared road users that there is always enough space and time with patience to share the roads and a metre does matter when it comes to sharing space in passing cyclists.
It is a privilege to hear the many wonderful testimonies of improved mental health after loses in life’s journey. The many kilos of weight shed due to getting a solid cycling routine the kicking the habit of smoking and increased health and well being. Seeing new cyclist being able to gain insight in to the mystery and intrigue of cycling of correct bike set up and appropriate clothing and cycling etiquette of sharing the road with other cyclist and motorist alike giving due respect and consideration.
Having people respond to articles and how the information has created a link with their past and insight into a future.
Happy Anniversary as readers and hope you continue to enjoy the reading. Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing.