On a bicycle built for three

After sharing the picture of the three people on a bicycle (the young woman, baby and man)  as part of the week celebrating the ordinary, I was spurred on to fulfil my own plan to get myself a bicycle.

Now there is another reason for this plan, and that is linked to a change in the place where I will be going for my morning swim as the dry season rolls in.  Instead of having a walk of less than 10 minutes, the new pool is just over 20 minutes walk away.  That would make a walk of 40 minutes just getting to and from the pool.  Added to that would be a 35 – 40 minute half mile swim, followed by the time needed for showering and changing.  I would need to get up around 5 am to be able to do that all before breakfast!  Or be very late to work every day. Neither option appealed particularly.  Hence the plan to acquire a bike!

Saturday was taken up with the usual tasks and bits and pieces, and disappeared rather rapidly.  On Sunday I was determined to get out and scope the bike shops, getting a sense of what might be available, price ranges and sizes.  Size is very important on account of my legs being a good bit shorter than the average adult legs! (In the gym, my feet can’t reach the pedals on one of the 3 exercise bikes, so that rather limits my choice if the wrong 2 are in use!)  I had my heart set on returning home by the end of the day, with a bike sticking out of the boot of the taxi!

Happily hubby J had been doing a good pre-scoping exercise and had a bike in mind, so our trip round the first shop was quick and confirmed the range of what was available.  Or not available in terms of my requirements!  So we headed out of town next, to the bigger bike shop which had basic, non fancy, non mountain, non geared-to-the-hilt bikes.  I neither wanted nor needed more than 2 or 3 gears.  I can’t use more than that and anyway, it gets too complicated!

It was a nice drive out of town towards a local market and temple area bustling with activity.  But to my utter disappointment I found that the bike shop was most decidedly closed.  And the bike hubby J had identified as “my ideal bike” was locked away safely inside.

There was another bike shop nearby and I did have a good scout around that, giving clear guidance to hubby in terms of my requirements.  It had to be small.  But with big wheels.  It had to have sit-up-and-beg handlebars.  A basket on the front was important, though that of course could be fitted later.  Blue would be good.  Of course!  And the minimum of gears.  And a happy sounding bell!

Now my heart was set on the bike, and there was no possibility of me getting back to the shop before Saturday, I conceded that hubby should undertake “operation bike procurement” at the soonest.  As in Monday morning.

So when I arrived home from work on Monday evening, this is what was waiting for me in the porch…………………….

……. my beautiful new, shiny “Feisty Blue Gecko” bike, with 3 gears, sit-up-and-beg handlebars, a seat so low my feet can touch the ground, a basket on the front, a space for passengers on the back.

And a very happy sounding bicycle bell!  🙂 🙂 🙂


An ordinary sight on the way to work

A little more of the everyday ordinary in Yangon.

This is a regular sight – and I took this photo on my way to work last week when we were snapping ordinary moments.


This is an ordinary bicycle and it is entirely usual to have at least three people on it.  The mum balances gracefully on the bike while holding an umbrella to protect her baby from the sun as well as holding on carefully to her baby.  The man is wearing the traditional Myanmar longyi with a less traditional (and until recently a rare sight) mobile phone sticking out of the waist.  The front basket also regularly holds an infant.

I have a secret plan to get myself a runaround bike this weekend, to use as the rains start to abate.  But I will not be taking any passengers, for their own safety!  Nor will I be riding one-handed while I hold my umbrella aloft!