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Bucket List – Sheldon The Wonder Fiets


One of the things from my 101 List that I’ve been most keen to do is start riding my bike again.  I’ve not ridden my bike in the last number of years because I never found it comfortable.  To put it bluntly, I’ve been too fat and self-conscious.

We bought it about 5 years ago because I wanted to join the ranks of the Dutchies and start making the bike my main mode of transportation around the neighbourhood for my daily errands.  I also wanted to go on bike rides with my husband because it’s something he really enjoys.  He used to cycle 40kms a day on his mountain bike and he really would have loved for us to ride together.  We started going for bike rides and I did enjoy it somewhat, but I found it very hard.  I got tired quickly, it was the dead of summer and I quickly grew frustrated with my lack of endurance.

elebike It also didn’t help that I felt like I looked like one of those cartoon elephants riding around on a tricycle.  It’s amazing what your brain does to you when you are overweight and insecure. 

I still feel like that a little, which is why there is no photo of me actually on the bike yet.  Maybe by the end of the summer I’ll feel confident enough to share that.

Anyhow, today we finally dug the bike out of the storage room!  The tires were flatter than a pancake, it was covered in dust, my saddlebags were ass-ways and crooked from being shoved in amongst all our junk, and it was looking pitiful and unloved.

My husband raised the handlebars for me, fixed the seat, pumped the tires and made a number of adjustments to make it a better fit than it was was before.   I rode about 20 circles in our parking lot to make sure it was just right and then we went back in the house for breakfast.

It looked like it was going to rain but I hoped it would hold off as I wanted to ride the bike to my physio appointment at 1pm.  It wasn’t far but it would make a good ‘maiden voyage’.  Close enough for me to walk the bike home if something was wrong but far enough for me to feel like I was getting a little ride in.

My ass still hurt after I was on it for a few minutes.
My legs still burned a bit to let me know I’m still out of shape and need to continue with the weight loss.
My arms wobbled, leaving me in fear of swerving into a parked car or tipping over when I was trying to turn.
I came frighteningly close to falling over each time I stuck my arm out to signal where I was going.
My heart pounded as I maneuvered intersections and hoped to god I wasn’t going the wrong way at the wrong time.
I made it…there and back… alive!

What’s even better? I enjoyed it!  I know that list would make it sound like it was dreadful, but it wasn’t.  I loved being able to get somewhere that quick ON MY OWN.  Not relying on anyone to drive me, not having to follow the schedule of public transit or take the time to walk.  I felt free and it was awesome.

I also loved taking off my little basket and going in the grocery store.  I know it sounds silly but I enjoyed it.  Call me crazy!

It’s not a fancy bike, it’s not an incredibly strong bike, and it’s definitely not an expensive bike… but it’s mine.  It manages to carry me and my remaining blubber around and for that I’m grateful.  Grateful enough to name it Sheldon the Wonder Fiets, after my favorite puny, quirky and hilarious TV character Sheldon from my beloved show,  The Big Bang Theory.

Oh, and for the non-Dutchies, Fiets is Dutch for bike.

So my plan is to start riding for short periods now while it’s still cool, hopefully build up some endurance and lose more weight so that when the summer comes I can bike for enjoyment and go along with my husband on longer rides just for the fun of it.  Ya know, without feeling like I’m about to die.

I’ll keep ya’s posted!

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her 'new' country.

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  1. Uh-oh. My last bike riding would be January 2008 in Cambodia. And before that… hmm… probably 1989? My husband has been trying to get me on the bike (he has two! I know, crazy). I’ve been saying that I should try to cycle regularly again, but in truth I’m very scared. Cycling in the city centre with all the cars driving past doesn’t look safe to me. Plus I’m so tiny I might need to get a kid’s bike *sigh.

    Anyway, congrats! And thanks for visiting my blog, sorry I’m just able to return the visit today.
    .-= Finally Woken´s last blog ..Some Weird Internet Hits =-.

  2. Well done lass! Soon you will be able to cycle over to ours :)

    • Yeah I hope so! I’d like to be able to cycle to the movies at some point. It doesn’t seem like far but it is for me at the moment. If I were to bike to you now you’d have to have a bag of ice for me to sit on when I get there! :P

  3. Way to go Tammy! I wish I felt better about riding my bike in Brussels but we just don’t have the infrastructure here like they do in the Netherlands. I just feel that it’s too dangerous and cars don’t respect bikes. I would love to take my bike out somewhere outside of the city and start riding again. One of my favourite memories is biking along the dunes in the Netherlands. It was great!
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..Musée Magritte Museum Brussels =-.

    • Yeah the bike paths are great here. They aren’t everywhere though and when I do have to bike on the road I get really nervous. I also get nervous at intersections, I’m worried I’m going to go out in front of someone or go at the wrong time. Hopefully that will get better with experience.

  4. Congrats! Great to hear you’re enjoying it more now.
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..For Reals =-.

  5. Maybe I should name my bike and then we could take them out together, carrying tulips and cheese.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..De Smaak van Afrika – Rotterdam Restaurant =-.

  6. YAY congrats on getting on the bike again! Im sure the more you do it the better it will feel and by summer you will be biking all over the place:)
    .-= Sonya´s last blog ..Homemade Bagels =-.

    • Well that’s what I hope anyway. That by summer I won’t be panting and sweating to death and can actually go for some nice rides.

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