Trekking with Oldilocks: Spokey the Wonderbike

by Cara St.Louis


This should no doubt be cast amongst the short, sweet pieces in A Quick Rant but it’s a horse (or bike) of a different colour.  Red to be exact. So new the spokes and sprockets are blindingly silver.  In one week’s time, we…my husband and I…will be taking her out to meet the elements somewhere in the French countryside.

I run, mind you. Which is odd enough at this juncture in my life. And there is the weekend yoga.  As an American, anyone who couldn’t ride a bike by the age of six was, well, backward in our estimation.  However, my brother and I made it so long ago, back in the 60s. I have vivid memories connected with bikes. First, I remember riding slightly downhill on the asphalt on the street in front of our little red brick house in Oklahoma City. (My Dad was an Okie, we had to spend some time there).  It was the left turns that got me every time.  Took me awhile to be able to turn left on a bike and come back up the hill.


Again, in Oklahoma, I remember coming out to the garage after a truly biblicalbike2thunderstorm. The day had dawned bright and clear.  It was a terrifying moment when my brother and I discovered our bike tires were covered in tarantulas. Dad! What do we do?  we asked squeemishly. Ride off, he said, and so we did with the scrunch scrunch scrunch under our wheels…but only for a minute.


Then there were the days in Albuquerque (New Mexico), where I really did grow up. Banana bikes and mesas with sudden drop-offs we could zoom down.  These were those moments which could have gone so badly wrong but never did.  Then, as I grew older, the bike went away.  It was a bit aerobic for me as a teenager and so it remained.


Decades later,  I married a man who biked. Solid, speedy, racy, sexy German bikes.  I have biked in the Dartmoor, a place wherein all is uphill…even the downhill. Physics be damned, such a place exists. I made it through Dartmoor on pure fury.  But when all was said and done and I was sitting in the tent again with piping hot tea, all I could think about was getting out there again.


He took me through the streets of London a couple of weeks ago. Past Buckingham Palace, walked our bikes up Regent Street, Piccadilly, squeezed past cars and cabs…oh, my Lord, are you SURE we can bike through this?!  Sometimes I think he does this stuff just to see how fearless I will prove to be…or maybe make me change my mind?


Well, next stop the ferry to France.  And I will be trekking. Oh, the Oldilocks? My oldest son has called me that since he was old enough to talk. I am only now growing into it, comfortably. I find myself wondering what sort of food I’ll be biking past. In Dartmoor, we stopped for tea and Devon Double cream and scones. I could be buried with such…one in each hand, thank you.  Til the next time!