James Murray tells a story for a small crowd at the ORL Salmon Arm branch. (File photo)

Column: Notion of seniors bike gang inspires neighbourhood ride

Great Outdoors by James Murray

It was in the early hours of a Saturday morning now long past that I made the conscious decision to steal my brother’s two wheel bike.

I wheeled it out of the backyard, climbed on and took off for open country.

At first my legs weren’t quite long enough to make a complete rotation of the pedals, so I sat on the bar and peddled the best I could. I eventually figured out that if I lowered the seat, my legs were just long enough.

A small crescent wrench in a little leather tool bag attached to the back of the seat could be used to adjust its height. From that point on I was in business.

My brother was waiting for me when I returned later that day and gave me a knuckle sandwich for my efforts. After that, however, everything was out in the open, so to speak, and I purloined his bike at every opportunity – knowing full well he would be waiting to give me my lumps when I got back. None of that mattered – the bike gave me the freedom to stay out and ride as long and as far as I wanted.

I spend a lot of hours riding around on that bike exploring the countryside. Long before there was such a thing as a mountain bike, I would ride my brother’s bike along trails that a mountain goat would think twice about. I used it to get into some of the best fishing holes I could find.

Read more: Column: Trout anglers on the Adams, think about what you’re doing

Read more: Electric bikes OK on B.C. mountain trails

That old CCM did the both of us pretty well until someone stole it. We never saw it again. Nor did we ever get another one.

About 10 years passed before I acquired my next ride, a 450 cc Honda CL motorcycle. It too got me into some pretty decent fishing holes. However, the thing I enjoyed the most about riding a motorcycle was the feeling of freedom it gave me while riding along some road full of twists and turns. There’s just something about having an open road in front of you and the feel of the wind in your face. Not to mention the occasional insect in your teeth or up your nostril.

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to try out one of those electric assist, white-walled, fat-tired cruiser style bicycles. Several of our neighbours have them. They are pretty cool. There is even talk among some of forming a seniors biker gang of sort. The only minor drawback to them that I could find was the $2,000-plus price tag. But it has me thinking.

So the other day I decided to haul out a lightly used seven-speed, black Norco Cruiser I bought a few years back and give it a spin.

With a slight bit of trepidation, I sat down on the sheep-skin covered springer seat, rotated the peddle and pushed off. Suddenly I felt like a kid all over again. I was free to ride as long and far as I felt. And the best part – my brother wasn’t there waiting for me with a knuckle sandwich when I got back.

I peddled up and down the streets near my home. Granted, I did huff and puff a few times trying to make it up some of the hills along the way, but the effort was well worth it when I got to cruise down the other side, crouched over the handlebars, with the wind in my hair. Not that I have a lot of hair left.

I haven’t totally given up on the idea of purchasing one of those electric assist bikes. I mean, it would get me outdoors a bit more – and then there’s that feeling of the wind in your hair.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Outdoors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vicki Proulx, executive director of the Vernon Winter Carnival Society, stands beneath a lights display the society lit up in Spirit Square Nov. 27, by way of announcing it will be taking over the 2021 downtown light-up event. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival Society lights up downtown square

The society announced it will be taking over next year’s downtown light-up event

Parents are urged to be on alert after a potential child abduction attempt took place near Armstrong Elementary School Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (amsas/neden photo)
Possible child abduction attempt at Armstrong Elementary School prompts warning

A letter from the school’s principal urges parents to be on high alert

Sorrento residents Rebecca and Thomas Goode are creating the Shuswap Holiday Twinkle Trail, a map to festively decorated homes and businesses in the region. (File photo)
Shuswap couple mapping Holiday Twinkle Trail to view Christmas lights

Map project intended to help connect communities, residents over the holidays

Addie Pafiolis with her son, Theo, who died just five days after his birth due to a heart condition in 2017. For the past four years, Addie and her husband Chris have been supporting local families around the holiday season in Theo's memory. (Contributed)
Lake Country couple supporting local families in son’s memory this Christmas

Theo Pafiolis was five days old when he passed away due to a heart condition; now, his parents are supporting others in his name

The Canoe Forest Products plywood plant in Salmon Arm is holding its own. (File photo)
Canoe Forest Products in Salmon Arm holding its own during pandemic

General manager says pandemic has not forced layoffs, still 180 people working

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

(Pixabay)
‘We need to be empathetic’; Kelowna support worker speaks out after disabled individual denied haircut

Individual with severe autism denied service at a Kelowna hair salon for not wearing mask

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COLUMN: Anti-maskers’ message misses the mark

Following COVID-19 restrictions now could determine just how happy our holidays are

The Interior Wildfire Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10-15 acres to house a rehab centre for injured and orphaned wildlife like deer and moose calves. (Black Press file photo)
Okanagan group look for property to house wildlife rehab centre

The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10 acres for injured/orphaned animals

Dentice di Frasso, a member of Italian nobility, once owned land in Summerland. (Contributed)
Italian nobility family once lived in Summerland

Dentice di Frasso and his family owned land in the Prairie Valley area

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

Most Read