A Word In Your Ear - July 10, 2014

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At Edmonds Towers we’ve got new wheels. No, it’s not a BMW. Nor do we need a pensioner’s scooter. It’s a fold-up bicycle.

Now that I’ve mastered the engineering challenges of its folding joints, the small-wheeled lady’s bike folds down to slip into a bag you can place in the car boot.

She Who Knows wanted it for exercise but also because she loves cycling.

She recalls halcyon days when youngsters cycled through the lanes and bridle paths over the Moss and Fylde, rarely seeing a car.

Nowadays, country roads are ‘rat-runs’ for busy parents driving children to school or home.

They don’t like them using their bikes on the road because there are so many other parents rushing 
about in cars with their children.

Our fold-up cycle reminds me of my first two-wheeler, inherited from my older brother.

My father ran behind it, holding the seat and me upright, while I found my balance.

“How am I doing, Dad?” I shouted.

“All right,” he called from a distance, adding, “you’re on your own anyway.”

At which point I promptly fell off.

What fun to recall and it’s still uplifting to cycle around our beautiful Fylde coast, or lock the bike to a handy rail and take a stroll.

You see and appreciate more; meet people, and feel better.

I’m not sure of the efficiency of our cycle lanes in Blackpool, when motorists park in them or the lanes suddenly end part way along a road.

What a shame, too, our council has failed to find an operator for its great hire-a-bike scheme along the Promenade and on parks.

It’s understandable that many prefer to cycle on pavements.

But will they please use a bell to warn pedestrians!

Also, wear bright clothes, especially when going dark. Cycling is meant to be healthy – not an opportunity to dice with death on our busy roads.

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