09 September 2009

Public humiliation

No speed; no style; no dignity...

I was working at home yesterday so as to be able to drop my car in the garage in the morning and collect it at the end of the day. I had planned to take a local radio cab to collect me from the garage in the morning, but they let me down - so I walked home, 30' in the rain.

By 4pm I realised I had to get the car - they close at 5pm religiously and leave your car in a dark alley overnight. Options:
- Call a taxi and risk being let down again
- Walk 30' in the rain again

Would cycling be an option? Not with a small car: how would I get the bike back home once I had the car? and then I remembered...

Three years ago I bought a cheap fold up bike. Ebay job, £30, this ain't no classic British beauty, no Brompton or such like. But could it rise to the ocassion and be the solution to my problem?
I got it out of the loft, pumped up the tyres (gone flat after 3 years). On the plus side, assembly was very quick indeed - one-two-three job with saddle post, steering and central hinge. Rear brake never worked, but at least the front one did.

So I set off - and how quickly did the bike's shortcomings become apparent! Not tall enough, my legs could not extend well. No gears - I know, I've gone soft but I do like my gears. Tiny wheels, too short a frame, it was more like riding my kids scooter propped on a stool on top of it. With my Altura hig-viz jacket, I must have looked like a circus clown - a group of youths I went past on the way told me as much (and more!).

Sorry, I took no photos.

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