Marion Gray and her 41-year-old bicycle were the talk of the staffroom this week at her Footscray Nicholson office where she works in student learning support.
The Alphington resident dusted off her original BSA bike for Ride to Work Day on Wednesday, joining hundreds of VU staff and students in a demonstration that you – and your bike – are never too old to resurrect and recycle the power of pedalling.
Her sturdy British bike served her just as well as when it was first purchased for her as a 12-year-old schoolgirl in Adelaide in 1968.
“The decision to take part in Ride to Work Day had been creeping up on me for a while,” Marion said. “I’d been hearing about other people at work riding year after year and I thought, now I’ve fixed up the bike, here’s my chance.”
After initial fears, the ride went so well that Marion is now contemplating making the trip a regular cycling commute.
“Imagination can create havoc. I had feared my muscles would seize up but I’m not stiff at all. It took me an hour and 15 minutes, even though I had allowed two hours, so I had the chance to enjoy breakfast with the other riders.”
Marion had her bike spruced up at her local repair shop just a few months before the big day and had been riding it locally but the 20km route to work was her first big outing.
“The repairer was most impressed,” she said. “It didn’t need any major work, just an adjustment of the gears and brakes and new tubes. Even the tyres were in good shape.”
Now the bike is roadworthy she is planning to clean up the paintwork. “It’s a trusty steed, and with proper TLC I am sure it will do me proud for many, many years to come,” she said.