It’s like riding a bike, you never forget

Image by Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay

R has been home with us for the last few days in order to attend my brothers wedding and do her duty as one of the Ushers.  It has been lovely having her home.  She has been well fed and watered and entertained.  She has had to “endure” the Sunday morning ritual of #bellringing though.

I taught her to ring when she was about eleven years old and she carried on until she was about fifteen when school exams started to require more attention.  She managed to get to a point of ringing plain courses of Plain Bob Minor, Triples and Major and was ringing simple touches of Grandsire Doubles and Triples at one point.  She could also plain hunt to pretty much anything without too much trouble, including Double Norwich Court Bob Major. As she got older her heart wasn’t really in it and I don’t feel that anyone should be pushed to continue with something if they really aren’t enjoying it.  We always hoped that she might return to it later in life and she had a good grounding.

She is fully aware that every time she comes home and we go ringing, that it is what we do, and more often than not she comes along too.  In recent years, her only ringing has taken place if she’s been home for Christmas, or for the annual family quarter peal.  Every time, she manages to ring very well without too much bother. 

Obviously there hasn’t been much opportunity to ring over the past 18 months, and for two Christmases she hasn’t been home, and we didn’t get to ring the family quarter peal in 2020, so she probably hasn’t touched a bell rope for two years.

She did say that she wasn’t sure if she could remember how to do it and what to do.  We started off with some call changes.  She took hold of the third bell and rang very well with good striking and style.  We then rang some plain hunt triples and plain bob triples with her on the treble.  Again, she rang without error.

It’s a saying that experienced ringers say to those who haven’t rung for a while that it’s like riding a bike, you don’t forget. This was clearly evident as she rang with good style, rhythm and remembered what she needed to do. She didn’t need to be told at all which bells she was over or when to lead.

She may not ring again until Christmas, or even next year some time, but I’m sure next time she’s on the end of a rope, she’ll have no trouble at all.

It’s just like riding a bike!


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