Tuesday, 25 August 2009

One Solution To Urban Cycling...

After my pride and joy (a 2002 Cannondale Badboy Ultra) was nicked outside Sainsbury's in Islington a few years back, and with friends who've had countless bikes stolen, I'd rather drop a bundle of £50 notes on the pavement than leave my road or mountain bike on display in a public place, lock or no lock.

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:

The mean, pink cycling machine

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!

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