Bradley Wiggins I’m not. Although back in the Seventies I had sideburns. Went with the power dressed shoulder pads.
But as part of Blackpool’s biking renaissance I now have a brand new bike. I’m thrilled to bits about it. Or was. I bought it last Thursday. Marched into a bike shop, £325 burning a hole in my debit card, waited while a young man gushed about mountain bikes and left without buying so much as a puncture repair kit. It was close to closing time and I wanted to close a deal.
My needs were simple. My bike must not fold. My last used to fold with me on it. It must not have loads of gears. The chain used to drop off on my last because I could never remember whether to keep pedalling or stop. It must not be heavy. It must have a step through frame as it’s hard to get my leg over anything these days. It must have a saddle built for comfort even if my child bearing days are over.
I needed the Poppins of bikes. One with a basket on the front. One I could get cheaper on line but without the Personal Service. That amounted, incidentally, to a sales receipt, no manual, no after sales info or guarantee guidance. And when the brake jammed on the tyre rim three days later staff told me to fix myself as it was “simple.” Not without a manual. And not with the adjustment screw part shorn off already. Discouraged I found a very nice mobile bike repairer (online) who fixed it free – for more than an hour’s work. Sorted the seat out and tightened the spokes too.
So now I’m back on those cycle lanes, dodging dogs, pedestrians, dog dirt, broken glass, getting to see what Rossall Point Observation Tower really looks like – and saying hello to every passing cyclist.
Did 12 miles on my first trip, mostly in first gear. Eight miles the next, in second as I was saddle sore. Then cycled three and walked three the third day, after hearing a strange creak after fleeing an elderly arthritic dog, This time it was me. My knee is clicking. So when I finally overtook a mobility scooter on the Prom last night it was like winning the Tour de France!