But I still want to get to the supermarket or the pub without having to drive, wait for a bus, walk for hours or call a cab. Now I think I have the solution to urban cycling:
Admittedly no beauty, it (she?) was about to be skipped by brother-in-law Huw when they moved house (left in the garage, no longer wanted by a friend) so I offered it a home, with the vague idea of giving it to someone else. I cleaned it up, sorted the gears and brakes, straightened the wheels and put on some road tyres.
I do get the odd funny look when out for a ride - and you do wonder who would actually buy a man-sized pink bike, as someone obviously originally did - but the result is cheap (well, free), cheerful and practical.
It suits me for pootling to the shops and I can leave it outside the pub overnight if I don't fancy pushing it home, knowing it will still be there in the morning. I could probably get away without using a lock. Let's face it, who in their right mind would steal it?
I was tempted to do it up a bit with a jet-black paint job, buy new brakes and wheels, maybe turn it into a 'fixie'. But that would defeat the object really; every time I come back I know this bike will be there and I wouldn't really care if it wasn't.
Or would I? I'm developing a strange affection for the bike and it's starting to make our second car redundant. I've realised that one of the reasons many people don't cycle in the city - obviously apart from the fear of imminent death - is worry about having your bike stolen.
That's my solution - and if anyone has an uglier bike, or any better ideas, I'd love to know!