On Life and Surprises

Harper’s Harpings – Learning to Ride


I’m a grown up that hasn’t ridden a bicycle in roughly thirty years.  I didn’t even take the cycling proficiency test at school let alone try to pass it.  This is mainly because I have always been terrified of the road and the vehicles that speed along them.

Anyway, less of that and more of this.

My derriere hurts like you have no idea, NO IDEA.  It feels like it has been clutched roughly and separated until breaking point and slammed down onto a concrete slab.  I have developed yelping turrets.  I’ll move and yelp, and I cannot stop myself.  My work colleagues said I was quieter after my tattoo on my ribs.  Those who surround me thinks its hilarious and laugh at my discomfort.  I don’t like pain, I have a very low threshold for pain, goodness knows why I have tattoos.

So, why do I put myself through this agony?  Right now, I don’t know, but am told it will get easier.

I have had knee surgery twice and absolutely don’t want to have a third, if I don’t keep up activity then the life span of my new ligament will shorten.  I walked to work for eight months but that soon started to have its problems.  Walking six miles a day had too harsh an impact on the knee joint.

Get a bike I thought, what a splendid idea.

No, no it wasn’t a splendid idea, it was stupid and thoughtless idea and I didn’t do my research in to arse pain.  Man alive it hurts.

For my birthday I got a bike, it’s blue and shiny and has more gears than I know what to do with.  It has a lovely water bottle carrier and a lock I can barely pick up it’s so heavy.  When this lovely thing was presented to me I got on it, proudly and then raced off on it?

No, I couldn’t move a wheel, totally froze, I just couldn’t cycle off, I felt like a frightened child.  I used the excuse that my feet couldn’t really touch the floor because the seat was so high but that was fiction of course.  I was scared.

Fast forward four weeks, seat adjusted, helmet purchased and it was time to go again.  Gear on, ready to go.  The house occupants got up early with me to cycle along side as moral support and probably to make sure I didn’t push it the whole way to work.  So, I am sitting on the seat, nice and comfy, back pack on, its heavy but hey, laptops are.

Couldn’t move, at all.

A helping hand grabbed the back of the seat and hung on and I was instructed to peddle and they had me safe, so I trusted and peddled and I had no idea at what point they had stopped jogging along side me and I was on my own but it felt fabulous.

It was roughly thirty seconds later that the pain kicked in, ‘I can’t do it’ I mock sobbed ‘it hurts’ I added. ‘Just get your ass moving’ he said.  I happily glared at him as I went along.  I stopped ten times along the way, three miles and it took me forty minutes to make it.  It only took 45 minutes for me to walk it.

And, I had to cycle back, and they were waiting for me again outside work to make sure I didn’t push it the whole way home.

Holy smoke did my arse hurt getting back on, every bump I went over caused a yell, various phrases were uttered, here is a selection:

I just ate a fly

I can’t see from the sweat pouring off my face

I bum hurts


The double yellow lines are making me dizzy

Apparently my facial expressions were fabulous and they wanted to mount a camera on their helmet to video the whole debacle.  Rude, just rude.

And then I got home, they didn’t even break a sweat, me, I was a puddle of water.  I had to get off the bike and it was like hell on earth.  My poor arse, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I couldn’t stand or walk because of jelly legs, I could sit because it hurt, I couldn’t stand because it hurt.  I sneezed and cried.  I was a mess.

Fast forward to today, it is day three and I can now do the whole three miles without stopping, I am very grumpy but I can do it.  I still can’t sit without pain, or stand, or clench anything.  I have discovered my back has muscles.  I am still terrified the whole time but I am gritting my teeth and sucking it all up.

I don’t remember being in this amount of discomfort as a child.

So, this is all for the good and I will continue on my adventure and will soon be doing wheelies and look no hands cycling on no time.

Or I will crumple in the corner whimpering.

Do you have any advice sweethearts?

Thank you for reading




Harper’s Motto: You will not be everybody’s favourite flavour, but that’s ok, because they will not always be your favourite flavour.   Be who you want to be and you will attract the people who will support you no matter what.


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