My Bicycles

Now you’re talking. The best gadget of all.

I don’t know why I like bikes so much. I have always done so. I love their simplicity and elegance of design, their accessible technology and their easy repair and maintenance. I love the bowling along, the unique sensation of movement they give.

My first was not a bike but a trike when a child. Mine was a Raleigh with a luggage box at the back.

I currently own:

A Dutch bike, a Gazelle Impala.

Very nice with hub brakes, hub gears and hub lights generator, with a big comfy Brooks leather saddle (I have Brooks on all my cycles). Why don’t more cycles have mudguards that go as low as that, and with all the other weather protection of rear spoke guard and chain cover?

All-weather, strong and reliable. Got mine from Cycle Heaven.

Gazelle Impala

Brompton.

Wonderful! I got mine from a CTC magazine advert in the early 1990s. It was while living in Hastings and discovered it was for sale in Chelmsford where I was due to visit on business a few days later. A bargain I have never regretted.

I have taken my Brompton on trains and buses. I have toured round cities on it including Istanbul, London and Dublin. It can be taken into buildings easily, hiding it under a desk or dining table, both of which I have done. If I could only have one bike I would choose a titanium Brompton. Although I did ride a Birdy once…

Moulton APB.

20inch wheels not the high-end Moulton. Mine is a Pashley version with Sturmey-Archer seven gear hub and brake at the rear. Great suspension and load-carrying ability. A donkey of a bike in its ability to carry stuff. Very comfortable for riding longer distances.

I have had various other bikes. I still remember my first

Penny once asked me if I have enough bikes. How could I reply? After all, how many is enough?

I had a recumbent for a while but only kept it about a year. It was comfortable and effortlessly fast. but it was long wheelbase and was not very good around town. I realised I would not do enough touring to justify keeping it so it was sold.

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3 thoughts on “My Bicycles

  1. The chain guard sounds a good idea (avoiding touching the chain with my trouser leg is very difficult when trying to get my bike into my lift), but doesn’t that make things more complicated when the chain comes off?

    People here can’t get their head round the idea that a bike is a vehicle. At the first church I visited since moving I was asked, because I was on my bike, “So, you’re doing some sport are you?”. I suppose I should reply “I didn’t know you were into motorsport”.

  2. The thing about hub gears is that they require almost no maintenance, you can change gears while standing still (such as at lights). Because the chain is not crossing over and moving from side to side as in dérailleur gears the chain almost never comes off. All my current bikes have hub gears.

    So a chain guard is no problem at all.

  3. My bike has been resting in the garage ever since I moved to London. I’m brainwashed by people around me, who kept telling me cycle in London is pretty much suicide…

    I admire those city workers who cycles to work every morning far before the traffic gets busy.

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