The pink bike with spokey-dokeys and handle bar streamers did not really offer me the street cred that I wanted and so at aged eight my parents agreed to an upgrade.
We spent hours in a second hand bike shop, looking for something that might suit, but I was always a difficult child and nothing was really doing it for me. As we left the shop, a gentleman was bringing in his son’s bike to trade it in for something bigger…but that was my bike and I knew it! No idea how it happened, but suddenly my dad exchanged money with the man with the bike, outside the bike shop, and bam that green baby was mine.
I loved that bike so much. I’d ride around the area all afternoon with my younger brother in tow. We’d go camping and the bikes would come too. I remember how cool I felt when I’d mastered the art of one handed biking, shoving sweets into my mouth at the same time. Once I was so consumed by this act that I cycled straight into the back of a stationary car at the campsite. I still hope that no one saw me…as it is still to this day, a truly embarrassing memory!
But now I am grown up and I have Bertha. I recently acquired Bertha from my cousin’s wife who also named her. I collected her from London, and we shared a black cab ride back to the station on a rainy evening. After minor repairs by the mobile bike man, Bertha and I went for our first real jaunt on a lovely sunny day in March along the river to Dorney Court. Whizzing along the river, we saw an eagle, a pheasant, purchased some daffodils, and together carried back some potted spring bulbs and a pint of milk. Along for the ride, was a friend with a similar bike to Bertha, just a different shade of purple… and her basket isn’t as big!