Archive for December, 2011

It’s been quite a week for this little London cyclist in heels on her bike.

Most things that can break have broken. My office have joked that at this rate I will be arriving on a unicycle by Christmas.

Excellent mendage

First it was the pedal, which I cunningly fixed with elastic bands and duct tape. Then it was one side of the mudguard, which also responded well to elastic bands. Then, and this was the final straw, my trouser escaped my sock (into which it was neatly and oh so stylishly tucked), attached itself to the chain and ground me to an abrupt halt at the top of the hill by Highbury Barn. I hobbled to the pavement with one leg attached to the bike and while extracting myself, wrenched a piece of metal I’d never seen before, around the chain. It was hopeless. I was faced with two options: burst into tears, sit on the pavement and feel sorry for myself. Or swear enthusiastically at the contraption, lock it up and get on the bus (in my torn trousers and hi viz).

Now, you know me. I’m a useful type. There are many small bike issues I can fix alone on the side of the road.

But this was not one of them and I decided to choose the latter, arriving at work cross and half an hour late.

Fortunately my mate, Bikeman Chris, was available that evening. So, feeling as if I were booking an emergency doctors appointment I rushed home on the bus, hopped in the car, picked up the bike (no mean feat, trying to lug a Peugeot racer into the back of a Peugeot 206 on my own without looking like a thief) and sped off to Dalston for emergency surgery.

The operation was a total success. My new, broken pedals were replaced by the original sturdy steel ones that I’d removed a week before, my mudguards were tightened and reattached and while we were at it we checked out the brakes too (as they were statistically the most likely things to go wrong next).


But, and this probably gives away more about my superficiality than anything else, we also replaced the black bar tape with a bright red version and it is absolutely beautiful. I spent most of this morning’s commute admiring the handlebars, rather than dodging pedestrians.

It’s lovely commuting weather at the moment, clear skies and sunshine, and cold, refreshing air. To prevent a similar accident this morning, I kitted myself out with stripy knee-high socks and cycling shorts. I’m not saying you should copy my style advice, but I didn’t go flying, so we’re onto a winner.


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