On bicycles and daisies

This is a response to Sidey’s weekly theme: A bicycle made for two, or one.

Kate has already written a brilliant post which echoes many of my thoughts about tandems – so read about that on her blog here. She also quoted the song Daisy Daisy…give me your answer do.

This is a name, and two of my friends (who do not know each other as far as I know) have grand-daughters called Daisy (used to be for marguerite, margaret, now it seems to be just for itself). Is this one of those strange things that regularly occur, a name long known, not used much, then it re-emerges so there are many girls around in 2012 called Daisy? I have a sister and at least five acquaintances of similar age, called Irene. In the next generation, a niece, one of many Claires, and now alongside the Daisys I also find I know several young Rubys and even two quite separate families who have an Esme. [thoughts on punctuation here should I write Daisy’s or Daisys or avoid the problem by saying I know more than one child called Daisy? Give me an answer do…] How is it that names go in and out of fashion?

Daisies, I believe that in french they are called marguerites.


Bicycles: one two or three, all made for one, not tandem, each second-hand, nothing special, except mine, my preferred mode of transport.

Scottish bicycle – so many of my past UK bikes have been stolen that this one now lives in the living room when I am not riding it.

American bicycle, a donation from past owner, lives in the garage under my condo when I am not there. Otherwise can lean against any wall anywhere ready to go.

Each on a different continent, according to where I happen to be living my current nomadic life. I have had bicycles all my life, the first I remember was called a ‘fairy cycle’ coloured silver and bought by my father from someone else’s father, they spat on their hands to shake and seal the deal. I came off that one over the handlebars and still have a scar under my chin. And so, maybe then, I learned about riding with care, and went to secondary school on a bigger bike which had three gears, such sophistication!!!I took it to London many years later, still riding with hair flying free and no helmet. Such ignorance even if it feels so good, it is now a memory, and I am appalled by a trend to ride helmetless. But the bike soon disappeared, the first of many since which have been stolen in UK, which apparently is not a bike-safe zone. There was the shopper bike and the fast thin wheeled (kept getting punctures) bike and even a moped, soon abandoned because of noise, and the mountain bike and the steady – but heavy – which was actually called an ‘edinburgh’. All gone, now I have the ‘bought from gumtree’ a hybrid, and it feels like best bike I have ever had. Some where the helmet and reflective gear arrived too, and wonderful little lights which just clip off and on. Who remembers dynamo lights now, or those fat boxes which took two three inch cylinder batteries?

On a bike you can see the daisies if there are any around, and whatever is around, including traffic and dangerous things, so I am not a racing rider, just peddling along.

I have not seen my New Zealand bike for a couple of years, and no photo to show. It lives in the garage there and was a PN Green Bike – that is a great idea where old bikes are re-furbished to safety standard and can be bought for a small sum, 50NZD. [like the Bike Station in Edinburgh]. As the family in NZ are now in Shanghai, I regret I didn’t just give it back when I left, but I didn’t know I would be spending more time in Shanghai.

My USA bike, like the Edinburgh one,  has the requisite 21 gears which seem to be almost standard nowadays, except in Shanghai where bikes exist in every shape size and gear ratio. That is the only place where I have lived recently but did not get one for myself . Walking was scary enough, as it seemed that when the road was a bit jammed, every two-wheeled vehicle, motorised and pedalled, just went on to the footpath, and joined the pedestrians.

And, before I write the next weeks post to Sidey’s next theme, if all goes according to plan, I will have left the Edinburgh bike behind and will be in USA again, getting this trusty Trek out from the garage. I am moving into zombie mode, half here, half already wanting to be away (I have written a lot of leaving poems writing always helps me stay sane). I am sad and happy – time to stop this sitting at a computer and get out on the bike.