Cycling with AJ bear

Did you know there is a proper way to start and stop your bicycle? I didn’t know that. I am a novice cyclist and am determined to get comfortable so that I can cycle around Comox and give up AJ’s vehicle – which I hardly ever have to use. But the hills always get my heart fluttering and my legs turn to jello before I can even get to the first portion of the climb. So my wonderful neighbour introduced me to the e-bike. It’s absolutely phenomenal on the hills. But since the bike is heavier, and faster, I realized that I was not used to stopping correctly and had a couple of near falls. That’s when i went to my neighbour for advice. She immediately put on her teacher hat and took me up and down the street till I was semi- proficient.

Apparently, if you google it, you can actually see a demonstration on how to stop and restart a bicycle, by putting one foot on the ground and raising the opposite pedal to be ready to restart. “This is important so the saddle can be high enough to allow efficient pedaling, and for a quick restart when there is a gap in traffic or a traffic signal changes. ” Darn right!

I can now get the bike started without doing the wobbly dance and have almost mastered the art of stopping. Now I need to learn hand signals. Presently I am at a quick panicked arm thrust that looks like a flailing fish out of water and probably has the traffic wondering if I am having a partial seizure. In the past I’ve never gone on the main roads where signaling was not optional. I was reflecting back on the times that AJ and I went bike riding and realized that all I did was follow him on my bike as he predicted the roads and the traffic and I never learnt to ride independently. So much more difficult when you have to think about what you are doing. Trying to break bad habits is hard work. My left hippocampus was actually throbbing by the time I learnt how to ride properly. (For those of you who don’t know what a hippocampus is, it is the part of the brain that is responsible for learning and exercise actually helps boost it and grow – neuroplasticity in action!)

I recall when AJ and I had first discussed using a bike as our mode of transportation in Comox, we had decided to get a tandem bike and were going to name it “Duke & Daisy”. However, tandem bikes are very expensive and we never purchased one. Instead we got individual bikes and I have named his Duke and mine Daisy.

I now have an awesome new e -bike from Trail Bicycles Ltd in Courtney. Jeff, the salesperson, was very knowledgeable and super patient as he taught me how to use it. I am excited to take it to far away places ( ok- maybe aim for 30 km radius).

Does it have a name? Of course it does:!

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