I have posted here before about cycling and also of my wife's cycling experience on a folding bike, a Dahon Mu Sl.
On the weekend we did the 50K ride and although Olive had the choice of her Flat bar roadie with 700c wheels she chose her beloved Dahon. It wasn't just 50 K though as we rode to the event which was about 12 K's and home at the finish too.
Olive was somewhat nervous about the distance initially even though I tried to convince her a steady pace will see her ride all day and not focus on the numbers. We were already familiar with most of the route, the only thing was the number of riders... Heaps. When we got to the start there was already a couple of thousand there but low and behold there were many people we already knew which was Olive's main concern for not riding. Now the tension was dropping, the fear had gone and she was showing an excitement to get going.
I looked for other riders on non conventional bikes. There was one Moulton, a few recumbent trikes, Graeme in a velomobile (fast), a couple of mums and dads towing trailers, a tag a long and... a dad with a Bike Friday Triple carrying 2 kids. Way to go. There was also heaps of riders with bikes that looked one or two weeks old with their respective riding abilities to match. One poor girl, riding with friends, got to Altona only to stop, put her foot down and fell over. Her legs had gone to jelly. Olive ran to help her because that happened to her on our first ride together.
Getting back to the ride the start was slow but casual and friendly all around until we got away from city traffic lights and when we came to the West Gate Bridge I tentatively told Olive to make the pace and I'll stick with her. Big mistake. Her bike weighs 8.3 Kilos, mine is an old MTB that normally weighs 16, plus our water bottles, snacks, spares, tools, wet weather clothing in a bag on a rack. Total weight... I don't want to know. But she took off like a rocket on a mission passing everyone along the way. My legs were starting to burn keeping up with her and my heart rate was getting up there too. I was thinking "what did I say to her". When we got to the top I was relieved, and surprised. Maybe I should put the pack on her bike. From there we had a pleasant ride to Altona and had a celebratory coffee and sausage with onion. Lots of chit chat with others and headed back. The ride back was better than the start with most riders keeping a good pace and being safe. Olive was fired up (maybe the onions) and took the lead at passing slower riders when it was safe to do so and had me doing the chasing a lot.
Back at Alexander gardens it was celebration time again with photos and a coke just like the Tour De France riders. I couldn't have been more proud of her and to dispel peoples judgement about small wheels.If the design is good the ride is too.
The day after and Olive is up and ready to ride to work again. Its going to rain but she doesn't care. She did the ATB 50.
From her proud hubby.