Over The Hill Bicycle Reunion & Glee Club Part 2


Bingham Bicyclers–the over 50′s–reconvened yesterday under beautiful skies. Last week they came out (14 of them)

a) “To see if I could get fit!”

b) “To try oot the bikes”

c) “to get me balance back”

d) “Cos I’d rather cycle than walk–it’s more fun”

Reason enough to bridge a twenty or more year gap since the last time they’d been on two wheels.

This time around a dozen came…all returned ready to ride again. Staff-wise we lost Val but took on Heidi, another American who has moved (permanently) to Eden Burrow, and loves bikes as much as she does banjo, science, and good company. Her knack for encouragement showed itself immediately.

I heard her telling her students, “It’s impossible to be sad when you’re riding a bike!”

I wish I had a little pin I could give each one (Jeanette, Margaret, Graeme, Ellen and the rest). For every one of them a hundred others wouldn’t dare attempt a tricycle, a kid’s bike, anything. Even if they KNEW that skilled (or reasonably persuasive) and gentle coaches were on hand, free of charge, to smooth that scary first little wobble from Standing Still to ….actually….rolling…and steering…and looking where you want to go…and remembering suddenly you haven’t learned how to STOP…..etc….

Verily, this crew was a brave bunch.

The progress was astounding… Petite Ellen was pedaling around on a bike far too small, but she was Getting The Hang Of Things.

If she keeps it up–even just here in the parking lot at the Lismore Primary School parking lot–she will take home

a) exhilaration

b) the thrill of perfect balance, Movement under Her Own Power and best of all…

c) “I can STILL BIKE!!”

All things that justify Not Staying In Bed That Morning.

Resolved then: No future Olympians will emerge from this crew, only similar people happy to have a safe place to experiment with the Freedom Machine… aiming to ride a couple of miles from home. Not tomorrow, and maybe not even NEXT week, but someday this summer….and for the rest of their lives.

Watch the video and see what fun we all had!

~ by jacquiephelan on June 5, 2008.

8 Responses to “Over The Hill Bicycle Reunion & Glee Club Part 2”

  1. THANKS for your help – and this post.

  2. [...] Story part 2 Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Beached4 tunes told for freeMotor Bike MadnessDesign a bike rack for Mission Hill [...]

  3. I don’t know the history or the context but this is one of your most BEAUTIFUL posts to date. Personally, I plan to still be riding when I’m 90. It’s always nice to see little spurts of encouragement here and there. Thanks!

  4. Around here, we all aspire to be as active as the 70 year olds. It’s very inspiring. And I agree, it is impossible to be sad when riding a bike. Keep up the great posts!

  5. This is a wonderful story Jacquie. It’s inspiring in that it makes me want to start a program like this in my area.

  6. Check http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/portland-or-older-adults-bike-program for further inspiration.

  7. [...] The Friday and Sunday film shows will have pioneering Mountain Biker Jacquie Phelan answering questions! Jacquie is in Scotland for a few weeks, riding around, researching for a book and adding her inimitable style to a series of events. Seen here in Bingham with a group of people who hadn’t cycled for YEARS. Watch the video or read her own account. [...]

  8. Yeah Jacquie. I love seeing old people on bikes. Particularly because I’m old myself. I’m 61 and had gotten back in to cycling 23 years ago when I put down my last cigarette. Jacquie, you see things that other don’t. That’s why you are special to biking and the world you live in.

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