You don’t know what you don’t know – what I realised riding an eBike

Shayne and I went to the Grampians on the weekend to spend time together in nature. We wanted to refill ourselves with the beauty and serenity of nature. As we drove into town on Friday, I saw a sign saying eBike Hire. I wasn’t sure exactly what type of eBikes they were but I knew I wanted to have a go on one.

So on Saturday afternoon, with the sun above us, and a gentle breeze in the air, we hired two bikes.

I chose number 9 as that’s one of my favourite numbers. Shayne had number 3. We set off on our riding adventure on bikes that look a bit like mopeds or scooters.

I felt more comfortable with Shayne in the lead so that I could get used to riding the bike. I’d had a motorbike in Thailand for a couple of years, but hadn’t been in control of a motorised bike of any sort for more than two decades. Shayne has a motorbike, so we was right to go.

Shayne zipped off and my bike struggled a bit as we went up a hill. I pedaled (the pedals make it legal to ride on shared footpaths) up the hill. I was having so much fun and enjoying the sunshine after a long winter.

We rode up to the lake and then zoomed down a hill. It was exhilarating and I let out cries of joy as we sped towards the bottom. We stopped in a carpark and looked around and discovered a small deer nibbling grass under a tree and a kangaroo further along also enjoying the green grass.

We stopped at an art gallery cafe on the way back and enjoyed a very large pot of Earl Grey tea in beautiful cups with saucers and scones piled with jam and cream.

After our break, my bike didn’t work properly. Had I turned the key off when we stopped, yes. Was there still battery power, yes, sometimes. Shayne tried to the bike to see if he could get it to work. Still wouldn’t go.

We called the bike shop and they sent a man hooning up in a Commodore with music blaring. He got out his pocket knife and scraped the plug to the battery and the bike came back to life.

Shayne and I swapped bikes. Immediately, I could feel the difference between the two bikes. While mine had been good enough to get me to where I wanted to go, it wasn’t until I was on Shayne’s bike that I realised how slow and sluggish mine had been. I was happy enough with the slow bike, but now I had one with power, my inner hoon came out and I was off at full speed.

Absolute joy and freedom filled me. I had Cheshire cat grin on my face. I kept an eye on Shayne in the rear view mirror to make sure his bike didn’t break down. I maxed out the speed of the bike where I could. And my goodness, was I happy. Even now, a few days later, the memory makes me smile and feel great.

Afterwards, I was reflecting on the experience, my face still grinning. I would have been happy with the sluggish bike because I’d never ridden an eBike before and I didn’t know things could be better. Once I had the faster bike, I realised that the other bike was slow and I preferred the zippier one. A client said to me last week, “We don’t know, what we don’t know.” And I could see the relevance of that comment in this situation.

So this got me thinking and reminded me of the story of the frog in a pot of water that is heated over time. Why doesn’t the frog jump out we ask ourselves.

When I was in an abusive relationship about 15 years ago, I didn’t realise the full extend of it at the time. I was like a frog in pot of water on a slow burner. Over time, the water heated up and I didn’t realise how warm it was getting. Once I jumped out of the pot, and ended the relationship, I could see how bad the situation was.

However, if I had jumped straight into a pot of hot water, I would have jumped out immediately. We get acclimatized to our reality over time. We let boundaries slip and before we know it, things can be much different that we had intended.

This week my son is on school holidays, while my daughter has one more week of school.

I have a lot of work on at the moment and Shayne kindly offered to let me work of an evening when we was over. I appreciated the offered but declined.

I want to grow my business without sacrificing what is most important to me, which is my relationships. I could have taken him up on the offer but each time I erode a bit of family time, it sets a precedent.

Of course, now and then I will make a conscious choice if I have something important I want to do, but for the most part, I am keeping my boundaries. It’s not easy but it is getting easier the more I do so.

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