It's taken far too long for me to take my bamboo bike out for a proper ride. Work, helping my family and hideous weather are just some of the reasons why, even though I finished my bamboo bike at the end of November, a week ago I still had not had the opportunity to ride it. And guess what? Now I'm only supposed to be leaving the house to exercise once a day and I have a dog... Tricksy universe right now.
I did, finally, manage to take ERICA (working name for my bike – she's trying it out for size) on a 6-mile local bike ride last week. I struggled up some very low-gradient hills, stopped several times to check my gears (in the end I just loosened something with an allen key and that fixed them – thanks for the tip bro) and discovered I have quite a loud clunking noise as I turn my pedals. Every time I turn them. Right now it's annoying but by the time lockdown is over and I can have James at the Bamboo Bicycle Club London look at it, I probably won't be able to hear it anymore. I'll be habituated and maybe even a bit attached to her special 'beat'.
However, overall, I was just blown away. I built an actual bike. And I can ride it and it's way quicker than walking and more fun than driving (even if going down steep hills is currently absolutely terrifying). It looks cool and it feels cool. I had fun, which is my favourite way to distract myself from stretching out my very underused muscles. And underused they were – so unused to peddling I could feel the burn in my legs and later the bum soreness that I never experienced on a bike as a child or young adult. This new sensation threw me slightly so I did what every grown adult would do – I googled it. Apparently it can be your muscles and ligaments adjusting to the shock, or it might be that the saddle isn't adjusted properly (I adjusted this myself so that's a valid concern), or it might be that I just need padded shorts, as suggested by my best friend. I'm going to chalk it up to all three for good measure. Anyone know if you can buy ethical padded bike shorts because I'm in the market for some?
Subscribe below to find out if I ever solve this terrible biking conundrum, and to also have my ramblings about nature and art and sustainability (and travel if it is ever allowed again) delivered straight to your inbox
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!