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Bike fright on Santorini


What I imagine when someone mentions bike riding in Santorini, is me, in a cute summer dress which flows behind me in the breeze. I ring my bell ‘tinkle tinkle’ as I ride past friends on the beach. I take a deep breath, inhaling the intoxicating salty air and aromas from the restaurants I pass, and as I exhale I smile, content and peaceful. I hear the song ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head’ in my mind…

Yes, I imagine myself bike riding in the 60s. In reality however, it has been quite different.

I ride at least 30 minutes each day and I have had this bike for three weeks now. It is a great bike with gears, a basket and of course – a bell. I loved my bike up until a few nights ago.

It was late and I had just picked up a nutella croissant from the 24hr Bakery and was on my way home. It was windy that night and I didn’t have a jacket so I tied a bath towel around my shoulders that I had in a bag of washing I’d picked up earlier that day. I was – of course – wearing my helmet. There have been a lot of comments re: my helmet but I have stayed a firm believer in safety first, whether I’m the only person in Greece who wears one or not.

So there I was peddling away when a huge easterly gust of wind threatened to topple me over. No, wait, it DID topple me over! I was pushed off my bike landing first on my shoulder then on my back. I did a half roly poly as the bike came crashing down on top of me leaving me sprawled and pinned in the middle of the road at 3am.

First, shock. Then, embarrassment. I was quick to get up, chase my nutella croissant and laundry items, stuff them into my basket and move to the side of the road to compose myself.

I remember just before the ‘incident’ I caught my shadow on a wall as I rode past and with my sturdy helmet and bath towel trailing behind me I thought I looked like a Superhero – or at least a child dressing up as a Superhero.

People believe Superheroes are invincible. Sadly, we are not.

More by this author on her blog or on her website thefirsttimer.com.

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