wings and things

Cycling in the countryside

on January 27, 2015

Some time ago I purchased the most wonderful electric bicycle. Now for those serious cyclists who read this blog, please refrain from smirking; the wonderbike can be used as a normal bike but when encountering a steep hillock, or a cyclonic breeze, it is possible to press a little button and, yeeha! the electric buzz happens and before you know it you have zoomed through these difficulties. Wonderful! Of course, you then press the button off again so that you are cycling normally and not electrically.

I recently began cycling again after a long break. On Day One, I rode down our long gravel driveway onto our small country road and, pedalling against the ferocious breeze, ventured further, turning left onto the next country road. Ah, the peace and quiet, twittering birds, happily mooing cows – bliss!

Then, just as I was about to turn right into an even smaller country road there was an explosion of noise behind me and, using my newly purchased rear vision mirror, I was alarmed to see an enormous truck behind me, approaching fast and, even more horrifyingly, when I was about to escape to the smaller country road, I saw another massive truck coming towards me from the opposite direction. I had two choices: I could keep riding, feigning nonchalance, and hope that both trucks would see me, slow down, and the drivers and I could exchange morning greetings, OR I could stop my bike, hop off and catapult onto the closest verge. I decided on the latter just seconds before both trucks whooshed past each other with a blast of horns. I waved and smiled friendlily to the drivers from my position on the ground, my arms protectively around my bike, assuming the blast of horns was a type of country road greeting but strangely neither of the drivers smiled back.

So I got up and got back on the bike and rode the short distance to the even smaller country road but, just as I was about to veer right into this same road, another enormous truck (coming out of the even smaller country road) came to a noisy halt and politely let me into the road by a narrow margin. Again I waved to the driver who grimaced back. Oh well, I thought, not everyone is friendly in the morning.

But a couple of kilometres later, after several repeat incidents of the above, I turned around, pressed the button for electricity, turned it to the highest setting, and zoomed back home, only stopping here and there for the odd truck or ten!

Anyway, the Day One experience hasn’t deterred me and I still cycle every morning up and down and all around the safest possible country road: the driveway.

42 responses to “Cycling in the countryside

  1. Good for you, darned truckers hogging the road, don’t they know that wonderbikes have the right of way? 😀

  2. So glad you survived that first ride and are continuing in safety!

    c.C. and I rented electric bikes in San Francisco — they are amazing!!!!!

  3. cecilia says:

    Your roads sound awful.. bring your bike out to my art of Illinois.. hardly any traffic out there at all.. like the electric idea.. c

  4. Tiny says:

    That’s a great invention, Julie! Just be careful and take option B when needed.

  5. Colline says:

    Good for you to have the courage to venture past your driveway. Those trucks would scare me too!

  6. Terry says:

    luck was with you dear friend, I suggest you find another route to drive!! LOL, hugs

  7. Judy says:

    Sounds dangerous and thrilling – or I “spoke” too soon? A wheel-life adventure! With wheelchair pushing you enjoyed sniffing roses, and with this you have different “pedals” to appreciate. I guess you have to get all “geared” up for this!

  8. Very scary but glad you’re okay and still biking…. Diane

  9. bulldog says:

    What a way to go… love the idea of an electric bike…

  10. Sometimes I wish I could ride a bike but if I tried I would end up laying on the ground after falling off

  11. Wow scary truck drivers there – glad you made it safely back Julie. ❤
    Diana xo

  12. susanpoozan says:

    Well done for braving those horrible trucks. What are they doing rushing about on small country roads.

  13. Vicki says:

    Well done (for continuing), Julie.
    Dare I suggest that truck drivers on country roads have a certain reputation…and it ain’t good.

    I think I’d stick with your farm driveway, if its fresh air and exercise you want.

    Not sure that town/city drivers are any better that country drivers when it comes to consideration towards the 2 wheeled rider.

    But I would support your desire to exercise. I used to love the ‘rush’ I got from power walking all those years ago – so good for reducing stress, improving healthy heart and brain function. I’m a great supporter of ‘use it or lose it’.

    I’m missing my long walks these days and my GP and I are currently looking at other options.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I feel for you re the walking, Vicki, and I hope the GP comes up with an alternative situation. You are wonderful at coping with whatever and I learn a lot from you and your fantastic photos.

  14. Bicyclists are what paved the roads for vehicles!!!! Daggone vehicles need to remember this!!!! 😉

  15. Judith Post says:

    Geez, the truck experience would unnerve me! And you’re much nicer than I am. I wouldn’t smile and wave at drivers who’d rather smoosh me than slow down. I love your fierce optimism!

  16. tootlepedal says:

    Never argue with a truck. You took the right decision. It must have been a disappointment to you not to find a safe road in the country. Do the trucks have a schedule that you could avoid or do they come shooting out at all times of the day?

    • jmgoyder says:

      It’s a bit unpredictable but I am going to do some research. I might have to take the bike into the nursing home and keep it there if they let me. That way I can ride safely around the little city on the bicycle paths but it’s all a bit ironic!

  17. janeslog says:

    Sounds there is a quarry or open-cast coal mine in the area which is causing the large trucks to be travelling along that road. Even in the country there can be vehicles travelling too fast. Also always wear one of these yellow vests the roadmen wear to give you maximum visibility.

    The Australian equivalent of British Ordnance Survey maps are Geoscience Australia and their maps should show this.

    In my area we get many tourist buses around Loch Lomond but there are cycle paths as well and you might find an area with cycle paths which are safer.

    If it gets dark you should wear these yellow bands on your sleeves and ankles with the flashing lights and get spoke reflectors on the wheels. I love cycling.

  18. My Heartsong says:

    i can just see this on a sitcom on TV.Glad you braved it out there.

  19. Trisha says:

    After that experience, I would stick to the safety of the driveway too! I find it stressful to deal with a lot of traffic when out biking. I stick to the same, safe route all the time. The fresh air and light are always enjoyable even if the scenery is the same every day!

  20. Lynda says:

    This is why I gave up riding around here! I have been finding small neighborhoods nearby and packing my bike on the bike rack to get there. I have no intention of becoming a statistic or a blurb on the nightly news!

    News at 10:00: Elderly woman found dead in ditch-bank, forced off road by an angry trucker. 😯

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