Someone’s bike I liked the look of 🙂

When I moved to the south coast I was just thinking of the lovely scenery I was going to have on my doorstep like the sea and the landscape. I knew we had located to a busy vibrant place. After spending a week here I realised that so many people cycle. The next thing I found myself doing was looking at everyone’s bike. Was it modern, was it vintage, did it have a basket on the front. Spending time thinking about this I wondered how much shopping could actually fit in one of those baskets. Could you fit a Friday nights supply of Gin with two bottles of tonic and some nuts!

After about 4 weeks I was struggling with my joints, good old vitamin D damage and the idea of a bicycle appealed to me. I thought it would mean less pressure on my ankles and feet where I get pain and I was right. Cycling has helped me plus I can get to places a lot quicker than walking, although I love walking. I hadn’t really cycled much since I was about 14. My dad’s family live in Ireland so we went over there every year to see cousins and relatives. Because they lived in a small village in a farming county, this meant you either had to cycle or have a car to get anywhere other than the small village which felt like one road to be honest. So I would cycle on my cousins Raleigh racing bike. I loved it and we would cycle 30 miles in a day.

Growing up around a very busy city, you didn’t see many people cycling but these days cyclists are everywhere. What with companies now offering a cycle to work scheme where employees get to pay for a bike over a certain term and get a brand new bike for a small payment, there seem to be more bikes on the road than ever. Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour de France inspired people to jump on, saddle up and get some exercise. Where I live now everything is so accessible I can really see why so many people have bikes.

My new bike

I saw my bike at the Bike Exchange which is about a 15-minute walk from my house. Being a vintage 1985 in a blueish purple colour, it has a pretty name Caprice and designed by Raleigh I felt we were a good match. Looking at it, your eyes wonder if it is Blue or Purple, I like the way it rides and suits me to a T. It has a basket but is the original wire one which I love as I think it suits the bike and me, to be honest 🙂

There are feelings that maybe it needs a little TLC, a bit of work to the seat, some creative flair adding to the basket. Hammerite paint to the basket part sounds like a good idea to make it come up as new 🙂 When I went for my first ride down the seafront I felt so giddy, it was like I was 10 again. I am not going to put my hands up and say I am the best cyclist, but I don’t care. There is no way I am trying to impress anybody. Just having the sea breeze running through my hair and making me feel alive and happy is all I care about. Where I live there are little roads and it isn’t too busy. So I can be in town in like 10 minutes. I love that because it means it’s not too much for me. Personally, I would hate having to do a 5-mile trip to get to where I need to be. Tootling is just fine by me.

My first ride across the seafront

My dad was a brilliant cyclist. He had a custom-built racing bike made for him in the 50’s which still sits on my auntie’s wall even though he isn’t here anymore. The story goes he won heaps of trophies and would bring them all home for my granny. So it sounds weird I know but when I go out on my bike I always think of my dad, I feel him with me, laughing at me probably at how funny I look, but enjoying watching me having a good laugh, admiring the sea view and most likely being my guardian angel protecting me from doing something stupid. One day I hope to ask my auntie if I can bring my dad’s bike over and restore it. When I look around at some of the amazing bikes there are out there, I think I could do a good job of making it look a cool design, so fingers crossed one day that might happen. At the moment I haven’t timed how long it takes to get from Clarence Pier to the South Pier side but all I know is it a lovely ride. You can stop off and visit the Tea on the Sea shop that sells lovely drinks, I especially love their hot chocolate, also around the side is a brand new fish and chip restaurant that looks so tasty.

Southsea has some good bike shops but one of my favorite from a design point of view is Bike-U-Like because every time I walk past I see some awesome designs and it just has a nice feel about it. The weather has been so good in Southsea with very little rain but I am worried about leaving my bike out throughout the Winter, it’s quite funny because I have never had to think about this stuff before. I knew I needed a cycle cover but then I got thinking what other cycling bargains I might be able to find. Firing up the Internet I found a fab website that finds cycling products you want but for the lowest possible price giving you the best cycling bargains. By using their Discount Finder in a few seconds I had found a great cycle cover for just £16.79 with 24% off! The Discount Finder works by filtering products from the leading bike retailer’s databases and sorting them to show you the best discounts. By scanning nearly half a million products, discount finder can efficiently serve up the latest deals on bikes, components, clothing, accessories, and anything bike related you can think of, which I think is perfect. I am a little hooked now though and wondering what else I can buy for my bike.

While in my local library that doubles as a very cool gift shop I saw a section for bike lovers. Just staring at me was this print by Bay Tree Gallery which pretty much sums up how I feel at the moment so I had to buy it and just looking for a home for it right now 🙂 It will be interesting to see what the weather will be like during the Winter months and if I get to go out much on my bike, I really hope so. When it rains I am not sure I am an all-weather cyclist yet, I kind of feel like I might be like a cat and hate getting wet on the saddle but will have to see!






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  1. Jane Spacie-Gray

    September 21, 2017 at 11:41 am

    HI Lou

    Just read your ‘blog’ about your bike. I am so glad to hear that you have settled into life on the south coast! I was sorry we didn’t get to see you before you moved.
    Vera keeps me up to date with how you Ben and Alfie are and we are delighted to hear of Joe’s success with his band!!!
    How are you keeping? You mentioned your aches and pains from vitamin D………. I can’t decide whether mine are from the herceptin (which I have now finished HURRAY!) or from vitamin D which I am still taking but have taken it upon myself to reduce my dosage. All my cancer treatment is now complete so I am hoping that soon I will begin to feel like my old self! I am starting my walks in the park again and like you I would love to get back on my bike and back to swimming again!
    Anyway I just thought I would send you a comment to let you know that I enjoy your ‘blogs’ and to send you our love and congratulations on a happy move. Lots of love Jane and Spacie xxxxxx

  2. Laura Pearson-Smith

    September 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    I actually forgot how to ride a bike and can’t do it now 🙁

  3. Sarah Bailey

    September 22, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    How lovely that you are getting to cycle so much and along the seafront that would be amazing. I do wish I lived nearer the sea I have to admit.

  4. Sally Akins

    September 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    They say that you never forget how to ride a bike, but I think it must be about 25 years since Iast rode one! I’m very tempted to give it another go though

  5. Joanna

    September 23, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    How lovely that you get to cycle loads especially along the seafront I wish we lived more near the sea

  6. Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    September 24, 2017 at 2:12 am

    I’ve been wanting to do cycling. I’ve asked my friends to ride with me come October. They’re thrilled!

  7. Elodie

    September 24, 2017 at 3:21 am

    I used to cycle everywhere back at home, in France, especially before I got my licence. I now have a beach cruiser that I use whenever I’m home but I also bought another old cruiser to do up next summer. It’ll be so much fun to redo I think!

  8. Lynne Harper

    September 24, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I would love to live somewhere like this where I could hop on my bike and explore. Must admit I havent been on a bike in years x

  9. Anosa

    September 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I am so jealous as I can’t cycle to save my life, I injured myself quite badly so never got back on a bike. But when you beautiful scenery it’s perfwvr to make use of it

  10. Olivia Thristan

    September 24, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I love how beautiful your bike is and it’s pretty amazing you got it from a Bike Exchange. I think things that need work doing are a little more special as it means you can add your own personal touch! x

  11. Joanna

    September 24, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I live on the South Coast and rely on my bike for going anywhere: shopping, to work, to the gym. I simply love how convenient it is (and the calories burning as well). I wouldn’t do it in a big city like London, but for my town cycling is the best way to move around.

  12. Jenny

    September 24, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Rather embarrassingly it’s been years since I rode a bike! Perhaps I need to move nearer the sea so it’s more scenic!!

  13. Helen

    September 24, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Cycling along the seafront must be amazing. It’s great its helping you to feel better too. I’m a huge fan of vintage bikes so love yours! It will look even more amazing once you have done the DIY bits you want to do.

  14. Fritha

    September 25, 2017 at 7:01 am

    I havnt riden a bike for so long but really want to get back into it. Some of these bikes are so beautiful! X

  15. five little doves

    September 25, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I LOVE to cycle, it’s the one thing that I really enjoy but rarely have the time or weather for. I’m hoping to get a new bike so I can try to get out more.

  16. Baby Isabella

    September 25, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    We love browsing the shops in Southsea! My mummy would like a new bike for Christmas and likes the look of the ones you’ve picked x

  17. Francesca

    September 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I love cycling and it’s so great it’s been good with taking pressure off your feet and ankles it’s also great for the legs isn’t it! What a workout sometimes!! If I lived in a sea town I’d cycle everywhere but unfortunately I live in London and the road scare me so having to ride in the road is something I tend not to do which is a shame!

  18. Kacie Morgan

    September 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I loved bike rides as a teenager, but I haven’t been on a bike in ages now!

  19. Cassandra

    September 27, 2017 at 6:21 am

    I wish I could ride a bike! I’m absolutely useless when it comes to doing activities that required balance!!

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