This is Betty, my new-to-me bike. I inherited Betty from my friend Melanie when she moved from Edinburgh and have been enjoying my new wheels immensely. It’s funny how biking through Edinburgh gives me a whole new sense of belonging to this city. There’s something about zipping around the cobblestones and thinking through the best routes to get from point A to point B that makes me feel like I own the city. It’s a strange phenomenon but I’ve talked about it with fellow bikers and they completely understand. Betty and I have been enjoying the cooler temps and beautiful fall colors – although we have been caught in a few downpours and that is not all that fun. So far we’ve had one scary crash – on Princes Street nonetheless and therefore provided some entertainment for the many pedestrians who witnessed the accident (- and just as a side note, not a single person even offered an “are you OK?”). Shaken but not deterred, I quickly dusted myself off and hopped back on – my jeans didn’t fare as well and how have a hole in them. Betty is very old school with an old leather Brooks saddle that is surprisingly comfortable and she definitely likes to move. I’m getting to know her little quirks, one of which is a little paddle on the frame that is used to switch gears! It’s going to take me some time to figure that out. I’m pretty well kitted out with a helmet and lights and I recently invested (£2.99) in a day-glo yellow reflective vest. Not the best fashion statement but hopefully enough of a statement to keep cars and pedestrians at a safe distance. The interesting thing I’ve found in my few weeks of riding is that pedestrians pose the most alarming obstacle. They’re the ones to jump out into the street and ignore traffic lights – a revelation that has hopefully made me a more considerate walker. A huge thanks to Melanie. Thank you for entrusting me with your well-loved bike!
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