Riding my bicycle instead of my horse

While Drifter’s lame I’m doing what I can to provide company and entertainment, but that’s not improving my own health and fitness. I really need to be exercising. In the dim and distant days before I had Drifter I used to ride my bike a lot. If I had a spare day I’d go off and get 30 miles or so under my belt, ideally with off road bits and plenty of mud. Now I don’t fancy the mud, hills and bouncing over grass so much, but getting my bike out seemed like a good idea.

Except that as a result now I have a horse that’s lame in front and a bike that’s lame in front! One of these problems will be fixed by buying a new inner tube. The other, not so much.

Before I lamed my bike I got a couple of rides in. Here are some thoughts that occured to me while riding.

It felt really wierd not to be sitting upright and to be on a different part of my seat bones, but it all came back to me just like err… riding a bike. The gel-filled bike saddle isn’t a patch on my beautiful Bates horse saddle, but then the price isn’t exactly comparable either!

The majority of my bike riding days were before I passed my driving test. I was interested to see that now I’m a practiced road user as a driver I’m a lot less worried about riding my bike on the road than I used to be. As an inexperienced road user I didn’t know how to predict a cars movements or how much room they needed to overtake. Cars were a big dangerous unknown. Thinking like this I realise how a horse feels on the road, especially when inexperienced.

I’m also now an experienced user of equestrian arenas. Which is probably why when I rode my bike on a cyclepath this week I tried to pass an oncoming cyclist left shoulder-to-left shoulder. (This being England where we drive on the left and pass right side to right side everywhere except in the riding schools!) FAIL. Luckily this resulted in nothing more than some confused looks. As I was trying to pass at the generous distance I’d give an unknown horse (!), I went off the path onto the grass verge and there was no risk of crashing. It was only afterwards I realised what the problem was. I hadn’t made a conscious decision to pass left-to-left – my subconscious had handled it and made the wrong call! So I need to be a little more awake on cyclepaths to prevent my subconscious doing this again!

Also, on the same cyclepath, I realised I was a little mentally uncomfortable because I’d been following a big loop and doing several laps, but something was off … what was it … oh yes, I haven’t changed the rein!

On the positive side, I warmed up and cooled down in a sensible way that wouldn’t have occurred to me before I got a horse!


4 thoughts on “Riding my bicycle instead of my horse

  1. theInelegantHorseRider says:

    Hahaha I love this, as a cyclist and rider i have had some of these thoughts too. I found being a cyclist makes me a better rider on the road too. Also when cycling with my cycling group it has been good to be able to explain why horse riders are doing certain things when we meet them.

  2. 30 miles!?! Also, have you read http://www.fatcyclist.com/ ?

    • Sparrowgrass says:

      Yup 30 miles 🙂 I used to take a map, water and some food and go and see what I could see. And I had not read that, but I will from now on. Thanks!

  3. neilirving says:

    I find it amazing how many miles you can do on a bike, we live on a peninsula and you have to cycle 20 miles just to get of it and see something new 😉 , this past winter I cycled to the farm most morning’s and with the yard work I’m fit as a butchers dog and strangely miss it lol roll on winter 🙂

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