Post-theft, buying a new bike has proven a thoroughly depressing experience. Perhaps it’s been so dispiriting because I’ve had to do it in a rush to get back on the road, rather than as a considered, planned purchase when I was ready to upgrade my old wheels. I’d have loved to have spent some time saving up for a beauty, pored for hours over the internet, spent a few Saturday afternoons pottering around independent bike shops before signing up for some lovely new machine. I’d have sat in quirky little cafes sipping cappuccinos while I perused brochures and agonised over the royal blue versus the cherry red frame (yes, my lack of knowledge about bikes means that after budget, frame size and sturdiness of mudguards, my decision would, fundamentally, have come down to what I thought looked prettiest). And even after that I wouldn’t have minded having to wait a few weeks for it to arrive, as I doubtless would have requested all sorts of little customisations to make my new peddalling world just perfect.
Instead, the thieves have forced me to give up a precious holiday day to dash out and find a functional bike at double-quick time. And that’s really not easy when a bike is normally your only form of transport. I’ve spent more time on buses today than I have in the past 3 months and I’ve walked miles and miles to stores on soulless car-is-king out of town trading estates. And I’ve been in a filthy bad mood the whole time I was doing it – a combination of the bitingly cold weather and the seeping impression that trading estates are the lowest circle of hell. So far, so very very far from my bike-buying daydreams. Sigh.
After all that, I’ve ended up ordering a bike on t’internet – which at least meant I could do it sat on the sofa with a brew. I’ve gone for something a whole lot less sporty than my previous bikes, which fits much better with my vaguely-formed cycling philosophy; that of easygoing, everyday pedalling to just get places, not neccessarily have a workout. Finances dictated I went for something fairly workaday – I certainly don’t believe in spending more on a bike than I would on a holiday! Even so, it felt like a lot of money to be spending in one go, then I figured that (based on current public transport commuting costs) it would pay for itself within six weeks – not so bad really.
While in a spending sort of mood, I also treated myself to a lovely new bike bag, which is making me grin like a loon – just look at its gorgeousness! It’s by the Dutch brand NewLooxs, and we all know those Netherlanders understand a thing or two about cycling in style. Lets see how it faces up to the mountain of clobber I seem to end up carting around with me every day….
Only a few days until I’m back on the road, hurrah!