Sally and Vera in 2015.
Sally and Vera in 2015.

Sally’s Saturday morning rides

I’m 62, and I work as a family mediator, a job I’ve done for the last 35 or so years. I work part-time, in the interests of keeping my sanity. My hobbies include cycling (obviously!), reading and playing games on the computer (mostly fantasy role-playing games).

Before enrolling in the cycling course in 2009, I wasn’t exercising much. I used to swim regularly when I was pregnant, and I used to walk regularly, but I wasn’t doing either of those as much as I felt I ought to – possibly because of too many games on the computer. So I saw the Back on Your Bike course run by City of Stirling and signed up. I was VERY nervous when I first got back on a bike after after, oh, probably 20 or so years. I was very wobbly and no confidence at all. But Joanne, the coach and City of Stirling Officer, was extremely patient with me and the rest of the other course participants and it wasn’t all that long before I learned to use gears and steer the bike without worrying TOO much about falling off.

The thing that made a huge difference to me, though, was that after the intensive skills development part of the course finished there were several weeks of lower-key skills development combined with social rides. If that hadn’t happened, I don’t think I’d still be riding today.

Back in 2009, my mother who lived in Dunsborough was quite unwell, and her condition deteriorated during 2010. She died in mid-2011. I went from occasional trips down to Dunsborough to monthly trips then to fortnightly ones, which made it difficult to keep up with regular riding. When I was not going down to Dunsborough quite so often, I rode with the group run by Jen Faint, I think it was Sundays?  Maybe Saturdays. However, she stopped organising those rides. By the time everything was sorted out with Mum’s estate and I was feeling up to riding again, there wasn’t a regular Saturday group and the Friday and Sunday groups were riding too far and too fast for me. So I thought, “Well, if I RUN a Saturday group, I’ll HAVE to get up and ride on Saturday mornings.” So I started organising a Saturday group.

There was one week where nobody turned up, but after that there was usually at least one other person. I started getting ladies from the Learning to Ride and Back on Your Bike courses because the Saturday rides were shorter and more gently paced than the Sunday or Friday rides.

I’m currently trying to get myself into cycling regularly more than once a week, but it’s sometimes hard to get motivated when it’s early in the morning and I’d rather sleep in.  As well, I’ve had bad doses of flu during each of the last three winters, which means a slow return to cycling even on Saturdays.

I’ve done some short bike rides around home – these days, I’d probably hop on my bike to get to the ATM or the post box rather than drive down. I did try riding to the local markets once, but I buy too much there!  Because I live on the top of a hill, and everywhere means going downhill but then returning uphill (and I’m not good on hills!) I don’t ride as much locally as I could. I’ve been considering buying an electric bike, though, and I think that’s likely to happen eventually. At that point I’ll probably do more local riding, and maybe cycle to and from the train station when I commute to work rather than driving there.

Through organising the Saturday rides I’ve made friendships  and joined a book club. I’m considerably fitter than I used to be. I organised a ride and high tea for my 60th birthday, which was lovely. I know a lot of wonderful paths around Perth, and I know there are a lot more I haven’t yet discovered. I know a lot of nice cafes to have coffee or breakfast at too, and I take my son out for brunch every couple of months. EVENTUALLY, I’ll go back to Dunsborough just to ride the cycle path between Busselton and Dunsborough. I’m considering – though not yet planning – a Bike to Barge cruise in Europe for 2018 or so.


        • Christina says:

          Hi Trev, lovely to hear from you! Yes, you can use part the story and if you could kindly link back to my website, that’ll be greatly appreciated.

  1. Betti Moore says:

    Hi Sally

    I love your story

    It makes me realise I am not the only one who feels I may not be able to keep up with the WWW group but punish myself each week for not riding with the group any more. I now feel I should ride by myself to get my riding fitness back and am hoping you add me to your Saturday morning group emails so I can join you.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Christina says:

      Hi Betti
      I’ve passed your contact details on to the person who manages the mailing list with the request to add you. If anyone else is interested in joining Sally’s group, please leave a comment!
      Thank you,

  2. Jane Laws says:

    Hi Sally
    I loved reading about how you started the Saturday group, thanks for sharing your story. I have been given the OK to get back on my bike following my hip replacement. As I have been off my bike for 3 – 4 months, slow and easy will be my plan to start with. I hope to be back with the group before too long.
    All the best for the festive season.

  3. Corinne says:

    Hello. I’d love to find out more about joining Sally’s group on a Saturday morning. I’m in my mid 50’s and looking to ride my bicycle a bit more and have some fun. Could I please be added to the mailing list. Thank you!

    • Sally says:

      Hi Corinne,

      I’ve forwarded you the information about this Saturday’s ride, and will send more information about the rides in general tomorrow.



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