Unless I’d suddenly acquired a shocking sense of direction, after being given a new bike, living on the 4th floor of a block of flats, may have been life threatening.
However, I never owned a bike (new, old or jet-propelled in case of emergencies). My parents clearly realised that turning right from our lounge would have led me to become more lemming than Lance.
Because of my devotion to Twix, Lycra is not my clothing of choice. Although, men of my age in their droves are switching to cycling from playing golf. However, I’m better off holding a putter rather than looking like I’d had one shoved down my Lycra shorts (especially in cold weather).
In the 60s, growing up in south London, few people had bikes, going everywhere by “Shank’s Pony”; which I realised, later on in life, didn’t mean they owned horses.
I did have a bright blue scooter and was allowed to propel myself (supervised) around Wandsworth and Tooting Bec Commons. This may be why I have one quadricep bigger than the other as I never mastered changing legs. (I became very proficient at accelerating past The Priory on Tooting Bec Common as that was very menacing).
There were no cycle lanes back then – no need as there were fewer cars. The only markings on the roads were hop-scotch grids – and the occasional chalk outline of a man on Balham High Road – I assume this was some prehistoric cave painting, like the Cerne Abbas Giant – he’d have certainly looked good in Lycra.
I always wanted a Chopper – but that’s perhaps a question for my gynaecologist?