In the late 1960’s, I began studying in a hospital to be a radiographer and this was in a town about 10 miles from home. I was always sick when travelling by bus and so gave up the bicycle in favour of a small motor bike, a Honda 50. It also helped me to travel to see my boyfriend who lived about 50 miles away. He was later to become my beloved DH.
We married in 1971 and by 1973 there was an oil crisis resulting in the issuing of petrol coupons. We were living in a village at the time and decided we both needed bicycles. So began our cycling together. He bought a road bike and I had a sturdy 3 speed ladies bike complete with child seat. By now we had a baby and he used to scream when in the seat. It was only after a while that I cottoned on to the fact that he was cold. Woollen baby clothes do not keep out the chill unless covered with a wind proof but I was unaware of that at the time. I soon learned.
Because of the travelling distance , we moved back into the Boro in 1975 and not long after had son number 2. I changed the bike to a Falcon with a 7 speed dereillieur (spelling) which I was terrified I wouldn’t get on with. I was soon away with it. I rigged up a Britax car seat on a front carrier and would cycle with both children on. I drew a circle on the map and would take the children out within this area.
A year or so later a tricycle was acquired with a child seat. We were doing longer rides with the family and one day disaster struck. Descending a steep hill, the hub brakes failed and we ended up DS2 and I somersaulted through the air. Fortunately, DS 2 was strapped in and the trike landed on its wheels and he wasn’t hurt. I tore a muscle in my right leg. I insisted I was OK and cycled the nearly 20 miles home. Big mistake. Within weeks, I was very ill with an arthritic condition set off by the trauma. This was to last about 2 years and was a difficult time.
I kept myself going by dreaming of the day when I would be well again and my ambition at that time was to cycle to York. My DH refused to come with me , in case he was needed to rescue me . My friend Christine, hadn’t been on a bike in 15 years but volunteered to come with me. We set off down the A19 which was the shortest route. It wouldn’t be an option these days. We stayed overnight in York before returning via Stockton on the Forest and Helmsley.