Tuesday 2 July 2013

Pining for Peddles: bike lust, pure and simple

OK, it’s not big, and it’s not clever - but I feel like I’m 7 years old again and want to have a good old whine - you see, I have bike envy. Quite bad bike envy. Put it this way…


I haven’t really given bikes that much thought since I was a schoolgirl. I used to ride mine every day backwards and forwards to school, riding around town to visit mates or go to the park. Then of course, becoming a parent you inevitably get back into bikes to a degree - having a daughter has meant owning bikes with glittery tassels on the handlebars, a basket on the front for dolls (or the cat if she sits still long enough), beads on the wheels that clatter. You know the type of thing.

But our gorgeous and incredibly lanky daughter has now outgrown her bike and the time has arrived for her first proper, grown up sized bike. After much debate over BMX style versus traditional style, colours, basket/no basket (no basket, apparently they’re not cool unless you’re a *little* girl or a mum), etc, etc, she has finally got her clutches on her shiny new bike. And boy it’s a beauty! (Hence my jealousy).

It’s a Raleigh - traditional style, but a hybrid so good for a bit of bumpy off-roading. It’s a lovely pale blue. With silver mudguards. It’s got 18 gears (18! mine only used to have 3…) And spokes that glitter in the sunshine as she peddles. It’s got lovely chunky grips on the handlebars, and a nice squishy seat. And it’s so shiny…. So very, very shiny….

After visiting a couple of bike shops at the weekend I have decided that if money were no object I would most definitely have a bike for every day of the week. Seriously, there are some GORGEOUS bikes to be had out there. I must admit I do rather like the traditional style - and I’m a mum, so it’s OK for me to lust after a basket! There’s the lovely lavender coloured one, with colour coded mudguards. Or the green and orange one with a cupholder (perfect for peddling along the prom, very seaside-y). And there’s the lovely grown up blue one with a brown leather saddle and matching handle grips. Or the bright red one with white tyres (white tyres!) and a ‘Miss Marple’ style wicker basket on the front. Oh, and a proper bell. Ting ting!!

My husband confessed to me that as a child he used to go into the local bike shops to look at the brake blocks. Just, you know, look at them. Not to buy (he didn't actually own a bike). Just look. And one of my earliest memories is sitting in the child bike seat strapped behind my mum watching her back go from side to side as we peddled to the shops. So I guess bikes get under our skin pretty early on. It's our first chance of freedom that comes long before the first car. 

What’s the opposite of being a Petrol Head? Because I think I’m that now. I used to turn my head when we drove past car dealers - but I think that may be about to change….

So biking with a basket: cool or uncool? Leave a comment, and tell me what you think!

Sarah :)

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