Thursday, 6 September 2012

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Happy New Bike!

Happy New Year! I haven't quite devised any resolutions for this year as like most people, I never tend to keep them. However, I have found a mountain bike that could be mine, so I don't keep poncing George's.

It is a mountain bike, however it has two flat tyres and probably needs more work doing that my untrained eye can spot. But the price is excellent, as it's free!

It belongs to my mate's dad from back home, they've put it in a free ad in the paper and still haven't managed to shift it (a definite sign of quality).

Nevertheless, with a bit of elbow grease and a few blog posts, I should have shown you how to rescue a bike from the scrap heap.

When I was told about the bike, they mentioned there was a girls bike there too. Immediatley I thought they were poking fun at my traumatic experiences, but they haven't read this blog. I think.

My mate's parents used to go biking together, which is why they had both. Perhaps my sister could take over the other bike and help teach me when I move home from university.

But what do you think - should I add Coach Simson into the mix? What do you think? Do women make better teachers?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

I Learnt With Laurence!

I've always imagined there might be a few followers of this blog who also can't ride a bike. However, I never expected to find out about their personal stories, let alone for one of them to contact me.

Well, I was wrong, one girl who has been enjoying my blog for a while approached me and told me about her own experiences learning to ride. This is her story:


Tiffany Fletcher is 22-years-old and hasn't been near a bike for seven years!

Tiff told me: "When I was 4 I could ride a bike, it was a junior sized bike at nursery. However, one day when I was 8 or 9 I went to get on a bike and I just couldn't ride it... they say you never forget how to ride a bike. Well I did!

"For the next few years I managed to get out of biking situations, I used the 'I am a girl, I don't want to get dirty' line for years. It wasn't until I started dating that biking situations got more difficult to get out of.

"When boyfriends found out I couldn't ride a bike it became their mission to be the one to teach me, this usually ended up in an arguement because I am basically unteachable.

"I get so nervous that I'm going to fall off I usually start crying and beg them to never try to teach me again.... and I never normally cry over stupid stuff like that.

"Yet I have helped teach my nieces and nephew on tricycles by teaching them to pedal, but for me it just never happened...

"Learn With Laurence has made me realise that it really is a taboo subject and that by not learning how to ride a bike, we felt different from everyone else.

"But it is so good to know that there are other people on the same boat (or bike rather) like me. And with a little encouragement, and a push in the right direction, they could probably still learn to ride a bike too.

"Your blog is an inspiration because we follow you through every biking step you take, the falls and the tumbles and all the other pitfalls inbetween. I am just glad you had the guts to admit it."
Can you ride a bike? Are you learning with the help of my blog? Or just plain enjoying it?

Maybe I should think about making some 'I Learned With Laurence' T-Shirts... or would that be too cheesy?

Look out for some more learners sharing their stories soon!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Have A Wheely Good Christmas!

Ah don't you just love Christmas - the festive joy, togetherness and of course the presents.

Well this Christmas, my house took part in our third annual secret Santa at university and as you may have read on my Twitter - I have received my awesome present early!

Coach Woodward was my secretive gift giver this year and has given me a cool pair of Oakley gloves to help me with my biking. He had to give me my present early, so I had the chance to use them before the deadline for my blog.

                                 My snazzy new gloves

Apparently they will help keep my hands warm, help my grip and combat the pain I get in my thumbs from gripping the handle bars too hard.

But most importantly they have lime green on them - my favourite colour!

Look out for another post soon as I try out my new gloves.

The Box Technique

Apparently you need a licence to ride a bike. A flaming licence, as if going through all of this hassle wasn't enough I have to get a piece of paper from 'The Man' so I can ride my bicycle.

Well 'The Man' being The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents...on second thought, it might be worthwhile doing.
This week I tried the classic technique again, that instructors dish out on your cycling proficiency. I made a box with cones in a car park and I had to stay within those cones.

It sounds easy, however when you're challenged to make quick and sharp turns when normally they're slow and wide, it becomes very frustrating.

If you start with a size that you can comfortably ride around in, then slowly move the cones inward to decrease the size of the box and increase the difficulty.

When we set up my box, one end was marked with a big curb with a lampost in it. So I was forced to make the turns successfully at that end otherwise I would be launched off the bike.

    The pesky curb- where I crashed so many times- on the Bottom left.

I tried to ride around in a figure of eight in the box, this meant I had to control my speed when entering a turn. Also I had to keep looking forward instead of giving into the temptation of looking down, whilst riding in a big circle.

Look out for some videos and pictures of the box technique soon. Unfortunately it was too dark for pictures this time.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Future-Biking-And Me

Coach Ali proposed an interesting concept to me. As I have been making so much progress with my biking, maybe I could consider it as a mode of transport in years to come?

I currently have a car, which is my main mode of transport between my home in Kent and my University in Staffordshire. However I plan to move into London when I graduate to chase my journalistic dreams and riding a bike may be the cheapest, healthiest and possibly fastest way to get to work...

This would pose some problems though:
  1. Is cycling in London really safe, with all those bendy buses crushing people?
  2. Can you realistically cycle to work, all sweaty and in a suit?
  3. Would I need to wear one of those snazzy pollution/swine-flu-masks? (see below)

                                   I AM YOUR FATHER

    It seems riding around on a bike can even lead to becoming a bit of a hero. Boris Johnson rescued a woman from some menacing hoodies.

    Maybe I could become a vigilante on a bike blog idea...Fight Crime With Laurence?

    Do any of you cycle to work? Or used to cycle to work? Apparently my uncle started riding to work when his car was out of action and shifted his beer belly in a few weeks...

    I may definitely need to consider it then, my diet of cheap Asda meat, snakebites and Subways is doing nothing for my physique.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Wax On-Wax Off

For every exciting thrill and success in learning to ride a bike there is a boring, gruelling and monotonous job waiting.

Whether this is fixing a punctured tyre and slowly looking for bubbles, as you gently squeeze the entire circumference of an inner tube in a bowl of water.


Looking around an entire shop for new helmets, trying on every single one and assessing it for shape, size, weight, safety, price and how cool your big bulbous head looks in it.


Scrubbing down a muddy bike with hot saopy water after a ride.

Well this week I shall be doing exactly that- washing my bike. Unfortunately not in a wet white t-shirt like some reader requested...I know you must be devastated.

Me washing down 'old Bertha' outside our house...
& yes as you can tell by the traffic cones & broken bed-we're students.

To wash down a bike, let the mud dry and then use the soft side of a sponge to wash the downtube and then rest of the bike liberally with warm soapy water!

If anyone actually had to look that up before doing it then you should be ashamed.

Look out for another biking trip this week!