Goodbye old friend (yes I KNOW…)
And so farewell Trek Allant, beloved first London bicycle, Princess of bikes, lost to the gods of thievery and opportunism. Goodbye be-wicker’d holder of baguettes; cushioner of bottom; straightener of back. You left me in your prime, just as I was getting to know you even better. I shall miss your retro green sunshine in my life, your air of coolness and Victorian propriety. You were like cycling on a very comfy sofa. You matched my outfits and made my bum look smaller. I hope your new owner (having found you at the back of Clapham Junction perhaps, or on Brick Lane) appreciates you as much as I did, and will love you just as much.
But it was time to move on and so with a heavy heart I managed to find you, oh Specialized Vita Sport, replacement only in insurance terminology* but not in nature. Lighter of body, thinner of wheel, you made me cycle home bloody fast tonight, wind in my hair, smile on my lips, sweat on my forehead. Overtaker of all that come before me (unless they are quite fit). You are likely to hurt me less when I fall over looking for a dropped glove. I can see you and I together, commuting from Brixton to Tottenham Court Road; from London to Surrey and Kent; hell even from London to Paris or Brighton or bloody Dakar. You are the next generation, the next stage of my cycling life, a practical, sporty bag of fun. You make me want to wear lycra and go camping. What did I hum all the way home? Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder. You and I are going to be brilliant together, I just know it.**
I should also say Cycle Surgery were just brilliant in advising me on bikes and kitting it out, and I’ve joined the wonderful London Cycling Campaign – as well as doing brilliant things for road safety and looking after cyclists, membership is only £32 a year and gives you 10% off bikes and accessories in most major cycle shops. I got more than my membership money back buying my bike – well worth it!
* less excess, and accessories, and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t realise I’d signed up for when I took the policy out
** apart from the little incident today when I thought I’d also lost you but then worked out I’d actually tied you up to a different bike rack a few metres down the street