Getting Back In The Saddle – Resilience and Creativity

Sep 23, 2021 | Blog

At the weekend we went to the ‘Fête de Velo’ in my village. I wasn’t sure what to expect. There have been a couple of ‘fêtes’ since we’ve been here, and they generally involve what I would associate with a standard village festival – a food stand, some games for the kids, and benches for everyone to sit about and chat.

This time, we had the added bonus of a huge number of unusual bicycles. There were penny farthings, unicycles, scooters of all shapes and sizes. There were even ones with the wheel offset so you bounced up and down as you cycled along.

Channelling my inner 80s kid…

I have to confess, I’m not a big fan of bikes. In my defence, it’s based on traumatic experiences. When I was 17 I flew over the handlebars of my bike while hurtling downhill and crashed face-first into a rock. Not the thing you need in the throes of teenage angst about appearance, especially when it was the week my braces came off.

As if that weren’t enough, I had another accident, on a moped this time, while in Thailand when I was 23. This one was most definitely my fault, as I’d never driven one before and decided to rent a manual because it was cheaper. Ten minutes later I fell off, my thin canvas trousers providing nothing at all in the way of support. I still have the scars now.

I’m too old to have digital photos of my Thai trip…I did go here, though.

One of the be-wheeled items was a small version of a bike cart. My daughter climbed aboard the ‘cart’ area, where I would imagine the fruits and vegetables go, while someone from her class took to the pedals.

Predictably enough, they had similar problems to me in Ko Samui when they went round a corner. They both tumbled off, followed by crying, cuddles, and general trauma.

Being three, it was about ten minutes later (after trying the most exciting thing at the festival – the chips with tomato ketchup) that she was wobbling around on another wheeled device. With me barely able to go down a hill on a bike without getting sore hands from squeezing the brakes so hard, there was a definite stab of jealousy.

This sort of thing. But smaller. And less balanced…

Of course, she’s closer to the ground, but I’m sure there’s something about her determination to try out new stuff that we could all learn from.

So that’s what I’m trying to do this month. No, I haven’t entered a mountain bike competition, but I have started to broaden my horizons when it comes to the kind of storytelling and resources I offer. I’m trying my hand at scriptwriting for Six To Start (home of Zombies, Run!), and have sent four entire pitches to lifestyle magazines (one of them about wine, which seems apt) in the hope that I can expand the kind of writing I do. Thanks to Sian Meades-Williams and UnderPinned for all the job alerts and suggestions!

I’ve also written a book on editing any kind of story which I hope will be incredibly useful for writers, and have finally got around to actually making the Get Scribbling course I made an outline for over a year ago.

There may be wobbles, there may be false starts. Perhaps even a metaphorical grazed knee. But I’m climbing on and pedalling away, looking hopefully at the horizon.

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