I’ve ridden some form of bicycle/tricycle as long as I remember. Probably was on a tricycle from around age 3, progressing to bicycle with stabilisers, then balancing all on my own.
At secondary school I had a racer, I don’t ever remember the brake blocks being changed, so how I used to stop is a mystery looking back on it now. During sixth form we suffered a house fire that was so hot it melted all the bicycles, so with the insurance payout I replaced my racer with a hybrid – Marin Sausalito. It had V-brakes – this was new technology at the time. They warned me in the shop that the brakes were extremely effective, it took me some time however to get used to how effective they were. I had several wobbles and nearly fell off from jamming the brakes on in the way I used to on my racer, discovering that if you did this you came to a very immediate stop.
After my first year at uni, back for the summer holidays I used to take the bicycle out most days for a ride. One of my regular routes was from Walthamstow to Chingford until you started to