I’ve been replacing bike wheels for years. Bike wheels, seats, handlebars, bells, lights, basically anything detachable. When you live in London its the tax you pay for the freedom cycling give you. Of course it pisses me off but if you live in a city and ride a bike stuff gets stolen from it and about once every two years the whole thing gets nicked, its just fact and on Friday night I was relieved of yet another set of wheels.
Why my calm demeanour? Why am I not ranting angrily about this whole situation? Because actually i’m rather pleased with myself. After the brutal attack of my Principia last year I resolved to do something about the safety and security of my beloved, the only way I knew how. I bought another bike. Gitane AKA ‘Frenchie’ is a dignified old French bicycle named after a packet of cigarettes and basically she is my cheap date, her purpose in life is to take me from A to B and back again, she is not flashy (although does exude a certain kind of class), she has no expensive gears and I’ve even managed to stop myself putting nice attractive silver handlebars on her. She is my wing man, my back-up and relatively speaking, un-nickable.
When I came out of that Vietnamese restaurant in December to an empty frame my heart sank beyond all measure. When I came out of a similar local joint to discover a similar state of affairs with ‘Frenchie’ I just thought of my Principia, safe and sound back at home and I though well, I outsmarted them didn’t I.