Sunday, October 12, 2014

Like Riding a Bike...

Up until a few weeks ago, the last time I had attempted to ride a bike was in 2007, after not having been on a bike since I was 6 years old or so. I let a colleague of mine convince me to join her on a bike tour around the peninsular in Melbourne. Ha! I didn't even last for half an hour trying to get up the hilly streets of Geelong. I remember getting off the bike so puffed out that I threw myself onto some stranger's front lawn and  almost blacking out from exhaustion.

Now, having newly arrived in Germany to start our new life, I am in a position where getting on a bike is kind of necessary. Since we've had to leave our cars back in Australia, here in Germany we are without any means of transport other than the local bus, hitching a ride with Oma and Opa or getting on a bike.

The bus is quite limited, it will take me into town and there is one every hour on weekdays but it costs me €2.50 just to go into town which is a 5 minute drive and €2.50 for the ride back. So €5.00 for 10 minutes worth of bus service? I don't think so! I can take the same bus into the closest 'city' Wessel but to visit our relatives in Alpen I have no clue how many different buses or trains we have to catch just because Alpen is in a different direction to Wessel.

So to nag Oma and Opa or not to nag? That is the question. At the moment we kind of have worked out that Mondays are shopping days and so we often go together to the shops. Sometimes I forget the half a kilo mince that I need for the next day's meal and nagging Oma to take me into town for some 'hackfleisch' well I'd rather not bother her.

So behold my new love the humble bike! Included is an old child's trailer which can hold two children and a bit of shopping in the back.
my little monkey all rugged up in the trailer.

Here are the top 5 reasons why I love my bike. There are many more!

1. Freedom (part 1)
As I said before I don't have a car at the moment and having a bike with child trailer means I can go shopping and pick up cousins from kindergarten without depending on the bus or relatives.

2. Freedom (part 2)
This time from expensive petrol prices. It costs me nothing but the fat off of my chubby butt and legs to get that bike moving! I have spent around €250.00 on pimping an old bike from my husband's sister-in-law but hay that will end up serving me for at least 10 years as long as I, I mean my husband, keeps bike maintenance up.

3. Free Exercise
 I remember doing classes in a gym and doing hours on treadmills and stepper machines etc. at a local gym. Bored out of my mind as I walked and jogged like a friggen hamster on those electricity guzzling machines. Fluro lighting, crappy MTV or news on the big flat screen T.V's surrounded by beefcake Schwarzenegger wannabees. NO MORE! Beautiful German country side, fresh air, beautiful sunlight and real things to look at while I ride to get somewhere!
 Just to add I think I will soon have the best legs and buns in all of Birten!

4. Me-Time
I say me-time because when I am on that bike and my child is sitting in the trailer watching quietly the world go by, I can just mentally chill out and take in all the beautiful scenery. I can enjoy the light breeze in my hair and just look around looking out for potential places for foraging chestnuts or nettle. I don't have to talk to anyone, I don't have to worry about what Zara is up to, I can just ride.

5. The Romatic lifestyle
Rinding a bike through the backstreets of small villages in Germany reminds me of those romantic foreign films on SBS that I watched as a teenager and wished that I was a part of. The sense of freedom and adventure!

Jules et Jim 1962
And God created Woman 1956
Unfortunately the weather in Germany gets cold in winter like much, much colder than in Australia so it looks like my bike ridding days will be limited until spring comes again. Until that time I'm going to make the most of it and ride most days, even if it just means picking up the kids from kindergarten.