I’ve just been out in the garden with the kids. My son has been pestering me for months to drag my bike out from the back of the shed so that he can look at it. Tonight I gave in. Of course, after one push round the garden he’d had enough; a short attention span is acceptable when you’re only 3 years old.
I always had a slightly uncomfortable relationship with my bike. It probably has something to do with the girl I fancied when I was 12 – she laughed and told me I looked stupid when she first saw me riding it. I shrugged it off at the time, but I suspect the wound never really healed. Buying a drop-handle-bar racer, the very week that fat tyred mountain bikes came into fashion in the UK, probably didn’t help either. That said, I had years of pleasure out of it and the two of us clocked up some serious mileage around the Vale of Belvoir in the years that followed.
If it wasn’t for the sticker on the frame that caught my eye as I was putting it away again, the memories would have passed quickly. The sticker says ‘Ride and find where all the freedom has gone’ and it was written by Jo Burt, the author of the wonderful Mint Sauce comic strip. Published every month in the back of Mountain Biking UK magazine, it was a beautiful, captivating story that was worth the price of the magazine alone. Actually it was worth more. I would buy the occasional copy just for Mint Sauce, and would always read the ones that belonged to friends who actually had mountain bikes. It didn’t really matter whether you had fat tyres or thin tyres, nothing inspired you to get out on your bike as much as reading about the latest exploits of this existential sheep.
Does anybody have anything else? I use to have a couple of old magazines and a poster but I think they’ve long since passed away.
p.s – tonights de.licio.us links will be slightly less fresh than usual, I’ve been playing with the set up and it was broken for the last couple of nights.