Two or so years ago, I decided to buy a bike. It was not a bike to be used to get me to work;  although nice in theory, I didn’t fancy sharing the road with the cars in Auckland. The plan instead was to ride a few of the  trails.* I saw the man and myself heading off for one or two days over a weekend to ride the paths in places like the Hauraki Plains on a semi- regular basis. It sounded a nice idea. Doable too. We were keen.

To this end, I set out to find myself a bike; the man already owned one. Research then followed – no surprises there, I am a librarian, so this is a given. The result was that there were two or three models that although not hard core or expensive would allow me to ride  ‘tame’ trails and even on the road, should the need arise.

I didn’t want to spend the money on a new bike, so kept my eye on the online auction site for something suitable. It took a bit of patience but within a month, I  was the proud owner of a ‘new to me’ bike.

This  machine was black and sleek. It had 21 gears; 19 of which were superfluous to my needs for the first few rides. The guy I picked it up from said it had been used only a couple of times so the condition  was superb. I was chuffed.

The following weekend, I had my first spin. The man and I did the circuit round the estuary at Orewa once. We enjoyed it so much, we did it again. All the while, I tried to sort the gears: when and how do I use them? I wobbled a bit. I had the bell sussed quickly though, which was lucky as I hadn’t got a handle on the foot and hand brakes either.

We took the bikes to Hawkes Bay and spent a couple of days exploring the wine country. I got the gears, and brakes sorted. The wobble also.  We got lost and found ourselves pedalling through the industrial outskirts of Hastings, an area of large trucks. The wobble made a brief reappearance. It was fortuitous I rode a machine that did roads.

We had fun. It looked like bike riding was going to become a regular event as planned.

Except it hasn’t.  The bike has sat in the shed gathering dust for the last 18 months or so. We haven’t done any further trails either near or far.

Why? Simply, our work life balance is completely out of whack. Too much work, not enough life.

This needs sorting.