Smiling woman in sunglasses next to narrowboat.

Jayne Checkley

Aussie Jayne starting cycling in lockdown, doing road training with the Bingley Belles.

Hi, I’m Jayne also known as Aussie Jayne to differentiate between all the Jaynes/Janes!

I have an orange Trek X-Caliber 7 called “Tigger”. I am a co-ride leader.

I grew up in Australia and I remember getting my first “big bike”. It was one that I would grow into. I got it for Christmas, and it was under the tree for about a week before and all I could do was look at it!

The embarrassing thing about this bike was I couldn’t quite reach the pedals, so I had to have wooden blocks on each side of the pedals. I so wished to be big and to remove the wood. The first time I got to ride it with no blocks my foot slipped off the pedal and my toe was scraped along the road and I fell off and hurt my shin too!

Chucking wheelies

I used to ride my bike to school when I was at the local primary school and then when I was in high
school, I would take my bike on the ferry to Newcastle, then ride up to school.

I loved having a bike. I would ride all around where I lived, visiting friends.

I had a different bike by this time that had pedal brakes – so I could do skids in the gravel and chuck wheelies easier!

I moved out of home and left my bike to use when I came to visit but as I was driving by then, the biking fell by the wayside.

I didn’t do any riding until 2005 on a trip back to Australia, we were in Adelaide and the kids decided it would be great to hire bikes to ride into Adelaide city centre along the river. I kept moaning that this was not my idea of fun, but I did it though didn’t enjoy it. I was so unfit.

Towpath tangle

Fast forward to lockdown and I had started doing Couch to 5K and thought that cycling might also be a good option to get out and exercise.

A friend lent me her spare bike and to start with I cycled in a big square near where I lived (only doing left-hand turns). I did that for a few weeks and was then bored so decided I would venture onto the towpath in Bingley.

My first ride was towards Shipley, and I loved it.

As I got to the road bridge that goes over the bypass in Bingley, I had an encounter with a jogger. It was like we were doing a dance. In the end I crashed into her and got a few cuts and grazes. We were both apologetic and I think she was more concerned about me. I limped home determined not to let this put me off cycling and it hasn’t.

Bingley Belles and more falls

I joined the Bingley Belles in the summer of 2020, and I have really enjoyed my riding experiences. I did the road training with Ann Marie to get my confidence up road riding and I enjoyed that very much.

 I have fallen off twice on rides with the Belles – thankfully on the second fall my helmet and glasses saved me as I ran into the kerb and went headfirst into a dry stone wall! A few cuts again and I needed a new helmet. Luckily the scratches on my glasses weren’t in my eyeline so managed with them for a few more months!

My favourite ride is to Kildwick for cake, and my greatest achievements are getting up Skipton Road out of Silsden and Hollins Hall out of Baildon in one go especially after I was adamant that I did not want to do hills.

I love the social aspect of the rides and everyone is really friendly and welcoming.

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