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Granny on a bike......

(12 Posts)
lifeistooshorttodrinkcheapwine Tue 20-Nov-12 12:01:20

Thats me! i've only just found this thread as i usually while away my time on other threads - great places for displacement activities.

Let me tell you about me and my bike. Yep i'm a granny and i'm retired. I have ridden bikes since i was a child - i'm of that generations that remembers swarms of men coming out of the factories on their bikes everyday- we cycled to school and college and work.

I stopped cycling because of work and families etc. 12 years ago I bought my self a cheap halfords bike and used it spasmodically until recently when we started motorhoming and taking our bikes with us and i realised how much i enjoy cycling. While in europe i noticed that the bikes there are often configurated differently - higher, different ride position, low step etc After much searching and trying out bikes, I googled german style bikes and found kettlers uk site with 30% off their bikes and i got this one

I love it - its a good shape for me - i'm tall with long legs and often find british bikes not big enough and my knees get knocked on the frame.

I'm hoping i can use cycling to increase my fitness levels - i'm also a fairly keen walker and with 2 black labradors have to walk them . I now try to cycle 4- 5 times a week - i've been building my distances up as my fitness increases. i also tootle around taking pictures as i cycle (not when pedalling lol)

I found this thread really useful for tips on gear, clothing and helmets etc
Where do people find their cycle routes from?
I wonder if there's a website for plotting out cycle rides?

FurryDogMother Tue 20-Nov-12 12:12:59

There is! It's called, and I use it for planning bike rides too. I recently got myself an electric bike (this is it: - at the age of 53, and being rather unfit, the intention is to be able to ease myself into cycling without the pain of hills - and it's working. I pedal most of the time, but it's good to have that bit of help there when you need it. Seems we have some things in common - 2 dogs here too (only half of one of them is a black lab, the other 3/4 are collie!), plus I take my camera with me on my cycling outings.

I was going out on the bike at least 4 times a week, but the winter weather (we live in Ireland) has cut that down a bit - currently researching thermal base layers, since the wind roaring up my sleeves on the last outing was very unpleasant! I got some fleece lined tights from eBay, but have yet to find something suitable for the top half of me, without spending loads on 'pro' cycle gear. I also invested in fingerless gloves, and a kind of tubular head covering, which stops the wind blowing into my ears!

I'm afraid I have yet to get a helmet (cue cries of 'irresponsible!) but the roads I cycle on are very quiet - more likely to see sheep than a car - and I never wore a helmet when I cycled as a child, we didn't have them then. I realise I should wear one, just haven't got around to buying one yet.

Would love to swap cycling tales and progress!

lifeistooshorttodrinkcheapwine Tue 20-Nov-12 16:27:30

hi Furry thanks for your reply - i'll look up mapmy ride.
i've now got a helmet - only cause my family got onto me about it, i too never wore one when i was a kid or even cycling in london - that was hair-raising! Apart from this i haven't really got any further than that with special clothing i wear a light waterproof jacket, light gloves and a scarf if its cold and then end up so hot i have to strip off virtually so i have got a front handle bar bag, - for my phone, keys tissues discarded clothing etc

Whereabouts in ireland are you - i have family in Belfast as my mum is from there. I tootle round the lanes of derbyshire.
We'll have to support each other, as the more "mature" cyclists here. smile

FurryDogMother Tue 20-Nov-12 18:29:01

I'm in Mayo, on the coast, where the trees grow sideways because of the wind smile It can be lovely in the summer, but we're just heading into what I fondly call the 'mud months' and clear days without a gale will be rare until March - but I'm determined to make the most of them when they happen.

I've just ordered panniers from eBay for the back of the bike, thinking that I can cycle into the village (2.2 miles from home) and pick up some shopping from time to time. The main town is 10 miles away, and although I've cycled that (20 miles round trip) distance-wise on the quiet roads, I'm not too confident about being on the coast - busier - road for that long. One of these days!

I use my travel wallet thing (small pouch that hangs round my neck) for my mobile (a necessity, I think, in case I fall into a ditch or something!), keys, and a bit of cash etc. Works well, tucked inside my outer clothing.

My only other issue is the size difference between my bum and the saddle - sometimes it's like sitting on the fence smile I looked at wider saddles on eBay, but would feel a bit daft getting one, really, so in the meantime am taking out shares in Sudocrem for my bike-induced nappy rash!

There's nothing better than being out in the middle of nowhere on the bike though - you notice so much that you'd miss in a car, and can go so much further than you could if walking. It's my happy place, so am willing to brave some awful weather to be in it!

lifeistooshorttodrinkcheapwine Wed 21-Nov-12 19:31:35

Hi Furry it stopped raining for the the first time in 3 days this afternoon and i went out on my bike - only 2 miles up the road to the next but one village and round the park where i'd agreed to meet my dh who'd got the dogs in the car. the whole area is water logged - took some pics on my iphone of the water and the sunset. I put my new helmet on today - bought on sunday from decathlon - also light fleece gloves at 99p and a fleece tube-like thing called a snood that goes round your neck or can even go on your head as a hat. i was nice and warm and felt a bit boxed in by the helmet and can see why people wear a scarf round their hair under the helmet as the wind blows in through the slats in the helmet.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 19:45:03

I'm not a granny but I'm 51 ...just got a new bike because my 13 yo DD has appropriated my old one. I don't cycle as much as I like because the lanes round here are pretty dangerous (though officially cycle routes, no one seems to have told the car drivers) so we go for off-road cycling as a famiily - luckily there's quite a lot of paths near us.

It might be worth searching your county council website for cycle routes, mine in lancashire has loads of info. Another useful site is Sustrans

FurryDogMother Wed 21-Nov-12 21:23:06

Hiya Grimma, good to have you join us! I was travelling back to Ireland today (and the weather was awful!) so haven't had a chance to go out on the bike. However, I'm hoping to later in the week if the rain lets up for an hour or two!

Life (if I can call you that - CheapWine was the alternative, but like you, not keen on it - unless homemade!) - I think the thing I just bought from eBay is a snood - it's like a tube made from fleece, with a part that comes up over your mouth and nose (will take a pic at some point). I'll probably look like a terrorist in it, but hopefully the fact that I'll be on a bicycle that emits a slight humming noise will detract from that impression! Or maybe not ;)

My next post could be from prison...

lifeistooshorttodrinkcheapwine Wed 21-Nov-12 22:22:33

Hi Grimma welcome onto the saddle, good idea about council website and sustrans. I'm only a step granny but its good, and have 6 of them.

Furry hope furry is ok for you. i'm fine with life, cheapwine? wine, yes, cheap no - my belief is that you get what what you pay altho i do like aldi and lidl bargains.

furry i meant to say about a bigger more comfy saddle -you want a gel comfort one - i think thats whats on my bike but i still get a bit sore sometimes - it'll be padded cycling leggings
i might have to join you in prison as with my flashing red lite on the back of my helmet and my snood - i could have been taken as a burglar or a aged prostitute with my red light

Mayo is nice - we used to go to galway and connemara a lot when we were kids

prettybird Thu 22-Nov-12 12:06:18

Not a grandmother (ds is only 12) and refuse to call myself mature still in denial wink but am 51 and have cycled on and off all my life.

I've had the argument with dh (who has only recently got into cycling seriously) about saddles: he was adamant that gel saddles were more comfortable (he had one on his heavy town bike) and I said that proper anatomical saddles (which are quite narrow but different for men and women) are actually more comfortable in the long run

Now that he has a) worn in his new saddle and b) got proper padded cycling shorts, he agrees because I am always right grin

For women, it can also help to have a saddle with the "cut out" bit in the middle, to avoid too much pressure on the perineum which can cause numbness or pain.

FurryDogMother Thu 22-Nov-12 19:55:20

Just added a pic of where we live to my profile smile Hiya Pretty - the saddle I was looking at is called a 'noseless' one, and seems to be in two halves. I get both numbness AND pain (which seems illogical, but I do!), not to mention friction burns. It all seemed to get a bit better when I was riding a few times a week (dread to think that I may be developing calluses in that area!), but haven't had the chance to do that much cycling recently, so have probably softened up again (sigh).

I tested the snood out today - not on the bike, but in mad dashes out of the car to take photos, whilst attempting to avoid the lashing rain (which is why I wasn't cycling). It works, my ears stayed warm!

The forecast is slightly better for tomorrow, so am hoping to get out for at least a short ride, clad in new fleece lined thermal tights, the snood, fingerless gloves, plastic mac (with hood) and probably leggings on top of the tights. I need to get some waterproof leggings/overtrouser type things - any recommendations?

bureni Thu 22-Nov-12 20:02:49

Loved Mayo, wish I was back there sometimes. Likewise I cycled everywhere when I lived there between Ballina and Killala, perfect roads for cycling .

lifeistooshorttodrinkcheapwine Fri 30-Nov-12 16:06:50

sorry i haven't posted - How's everyone doing in fact i did a post and the internet died, so it - the post disappeared. I was a temporary glitch but i couldn't retrive my lost post and didnt want to start again.

Its been p'ing down here all week - and about half a mile away its flooded - so not good cycling weather. I went out today and rode a about 3 miles - not a lot but it was FREEZING cold despite my snood and helmet and fleece gloves also my glasses kept getting steamed up with my breath. But it was good and the views are lovely.

I'm not so puffed out when i cycle now so this is progress.

I need some lightweight warm clothes

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