I really prefer the old style bikes they’re bringing out now instead of the new fangled things with six million gears on both handles, brakes that would normally stop an express train (even with the wrong raindrop on the line) and seats that are so narrow they end up going to a dark and scary place I don't care to recall; but which gives you the sort of wedgie that causes nightmares for the next month.
Give me a basic bike, perhaps three gears, brakes that bring me to a gentle halt rather than launching me over the handle bars like the Challenger Space Shuttle and a wide, soft comfy seat that you actually sit on rather than 'insert'.
In fact why do bike seats have to resemble razor blades these days? Surely the air flow doesn't get down there? Besides some people, from both genders, have fairly ample behinds now; I know I do. Obesity is a rising problem, so I don’t see things changing any time soon either; surely having a comfortable bike seat that makes you want to ride is better than one that is more an instrument of torture and makes you hate it?
Perhaps the makers of bikes think we’re too lazy and should be punished for not being more athletic? When I used to get off my bike, which is fairly old and the seat isn’t nearly as bad as the new ones, I certainly felt like I’d been wedgied to within an inch of my life by the most heinous school bully going; especially as I peeled my saddle from between my.....well, you get the picture.
Of course these days it’s even worse – the saddles are more like razor blades you 'perch' on them rather than sit; in fact a lot of riders I see pedalling furiously up and down the roads near my village, all stand up on the pedals and merely hover over the saddle. It’s like there’s a forcefield that stops them actually sitting down – although when I see their saddles as I pass them I doubt they would actually be able to park their bums on them at all anyway, as their ones are as thin as a credit card and I bet they're about as comfortable to use. Alright at the time, but it’s only later you feel the pain and wish you hadn't done it.
So I look at the modern ‘old style’ bikes and I think it’s one of them I’d have, should I ever be able to get on one again and, more importantly, could afford to change my own old ‘boneshaker’. They might not have all the gas/air suspension space age frames and ultra light all terrain wheels and tyres, that mean you can climb Everest as well as going from Lands End to John O’Groats straight after; but, and it’s a big one, at least you can sit on them.
Can you imagine cycling up Everest only standing on the pedals; knowing that if you sit down only an A&E department and a pair of huge forceps will ever be able to free you again?
Of course I do like some of the modern bike gadgets – the little clip on bikes are great for small kids these days. They believe they’re actually riding their bike, but you’re really doing all the work – great for your waistline and their little egos. But my favourite is the hook on carriage thing that you put babies in or, as in the case of the family I saw recently, the dog. In fact we had a little red wagon we used to tow my old dog around in when he got very old (he sadly died just before his eighteenth birthday – in human years that was almost 126; I should live so long).
Of course I’m still waiting for someone to invent a hook-on wheelchair, or a towbar to attach wheelchairs to a bike. I’d get towed – I could even read a book - see the scenery and my husband does all the pedalling, good for his fitness and an easy day for me....what could be better? Now that kind of keep fit I could certainly learn to love.
This is Simi; thanks for reading......