As a child I lived in St. George which was not far from the Speedwell coal mines. Like many children I was taught to ride on the “coal tumps”. You were pushed up one side and left to free-wheel down the other side!
At the age of five I was riding down a steep hill in St George’s Park when a boy stood ahead of me with his arms outstretched! I only had a front brake which I slammed on. The bike tipped up and I flew off breaking my two front teeth. Then followed many visits to the Dental Hospital.
At sixteen, as a reward for gaining my school certificate I had a lovely blue fixed wheel bike. It was a new skill, because to brake you had to pedal backwards. Why did I choose that? I was the only girl in the cycling club to which I belonged, and all the boys had fixed wheel bikes!
Our first campsite working for Haven Holidays in Brittany had sixty two mobile homes, they were so spaced out that we needed bikes in order to run it efficiently!
However, my best memory of cycling came when we retired and lived in the south of France. You may know what “les planches” are (another word similar to our “planks” ). They are the wooden walkways along some beaches. The ones between Deauville and Trouville are the best known because so many of the Impressionist painters featured ladies with their parasols strolling along them. The Mayor, “Monsieur le Maire” of Le Lavandou had planches installed between his town and our Pleasure Port. In the winter season, when there were less tourists, my husband and I used to pedal along the beach on the planches! What memories!
No space to write about any more. I wish you all a lovely September.