Thanks to BeetleyPete for the idea. Today it’s letter ‘B’: –


London roads where I lived as a child and teenager were busy, and Dad would never allow me to cycle anywhere. Consequently I learned to ride a bike by sitting on other kids’ bikes when Dad wasn’t looking. I pushed myself along with my feet until I found my balance, and discovered the pleasure of freewheeling down a hill.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I owned a bike of my own. Dad was long gone, and Sam and I had moved out of London to the countryside. We had two young sons whom we had taught to ride, and when they were old enough we started the ‘family bike ride’ that both boys still remember to this day. Leon, being Leon, would be at the front, pedalling along for all he was worth. Then I’d cycle along behind, trying to keep up with him. Marc, 3 years younger than Leon, would stay behind me and try not to fall off, and Sam would bring up the rear. As Marc became older he would try to overtake Leon, who would then become furious and wheel-burn Marc into submission.

When the boys had left home and married, Sam and I had the country roads to ourselves and could cycle along without being wheel-burned or having to pick Marc up out of a puddle. These days we get up early at weekends and are out on our bikes by 8am. The Suffolk roads are quiet, especially on a Sunday, and if the sun is out as well it’s a lovely start to the day. We also take our bikes to the Isle of Wight on the back of Sam’s car, where there are many hills that make cycling a little less agreeable. However, there are disused railway tracks that are fairly flat, and lovely esplanades to cycle along. Sam often cycles along sandy beaches, but I draw the line there…

I love my bike! Below is a photo of our old bikes (my previous bike is the blue one on the left in the foreground, and Sam’s is on the right) on Platform 1 of the now disused Yarmouth railway station (it’s a cafe now) on the Isle of Wight. To the right is the old train track that stretches for a few miles from Yarmouth to Freshwater, where there is another cafe and garden centre, and many footpaths and cliff walks for hiking.