OPINION: Farm girl’s old bicycle has character aplenty

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Raelene Hall.
Camera IconRaelene Hall. Credit: Cally Dupe/Countryman

My bicycle is almost as old as me.

Well that’s a slight exaggeration, but we did buy it second-hand when my 25-year-old daughter was still at school. It’s not pretty but it’s functional — sort of.

A wobbly wheel, corrugated roads and electric fences are just some of the challenges to riding a bicyle in station country.
Camera IconA wobbly wheel, corrugated roads and electric fences are just some of the challenges to riding a bicyle in station country. Credit: Supplied

The front wheel is a bit wonky which can make steering interesting at times.

It has a normal bike seat that manages to feel like it’s made of bare steel, even with all my natural padding.

The bell doesn’t work, which isn’t a problem as there isn’t much in the way of pedestrians out here, and the cows either look bemused or run in terror at the sight of such a contraption, with a human on top.

Oh, and there’s no brakes, so I always have to allow time for a rolling stop when I want to stop.

Tricky in an emergency.

There’s nothing smooth about riding a bike out here.

If you think road corrugations shake you up in car, try bouncing over them on a bike.

Let’s just say females should have well-fitted bras on.

The cow pads to and from waters can sometimes make for smooth riding, but you need to be prepared to dodge the cow pats. Sometimes they may be hard on the surface but riding over you might find they aren’t as solid as they look.

I’m certainly not ambidextrous and riding with just one hand isn’t my preferred method of biking, but occasionally my nose is running faster than my wheels are turning so it’s interesting times as I try to blow my nose and steer my bike with the other.

So far, I haven’t hit the deck but there’s been a few close calls.

Riding alongside the paddocks with electric fences is also a tad risky with a wonky wheel and a lapse in concentration at times, as I try to see where the dog has disappeared to.

Hubby did suggest I buy a new bike and I considered it for a while.

However, given these attacks of riding fervour can come to a sudden halt, as my brain snaps out of whatever weird state it is in, and may not resume for months or even years it hardly seems worthwhile.

Besides, having brakes that worked would be such a shock I’d probably send myself sailing over the handlebars.

I think the limitations of this old bike and my cycling ability make us a good pair.

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