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Following on from Friday’s post, I have another ‘moment of reflection’ I want to write about.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, I hear you cry.
Well bad luck, it’s my blog and I can upset you if I want to.
The good news is that on Friday I go away again.
For 2 weeks.
Yes, you guessed it … I am on holiday.
If it’s any consolation, this is ‘proper’ holiday, not a Government mandated one.
Did that help?
No I didn’t think so.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that if you put up with this sentimental post … and a couple more this week … you’re then free from me for 2 weeks.
Seriously, I’ve been away so much this year that you’ve probably only had to endure 30 posts for all of 2013, so stop with your whining and let me get on with it.
So I have a bike.
A lovely, shiny, super nice bike.
One with pedals, not a motor.
I have always loved bikes.
Maybe it’s because I come from Nottingham – the home of Raleigh, where the Chopper and Grifter originated or maybe it’s because it was the first ‘vehicle’ that gave me my first taste of freedom – but I’ve always had a soft spot for them.
I say that, but after I learnt to drive, I never used a bike again, turning my back on my lovely BMX Tuff Burner in favour of a 950cc, D-reg, Ford Fiesta.
[Actually, I’ve just realised that the wheels on the Tuff Burner might explain why I ordered a special wheel for the bike I’ve just bought. It hasn’t come yet, but now, when I get it, I’ll always think of the BMX I feel guilty about tossing away in favour of a crap Ford Fiesta, with less than a 1 litre engine and only one wing mirror. Weird]
Yes, it’s THAT long ago.
Anyway, I recently this one made for me by the guys at WTF and I love it.
To prove how much I love it, I ride it every day – even though the roads of Shanghai are a total war zone.
Seriously, it’s insane … and ironically, I genuinely believe part of the reason for that is because of the good ol’ push bike.
You see cars are a relatively new phenomenon in China and so people’s frame of reference for ‘vehicle navigation’ is based bicycles, which means people think nothing of pushing their way to the front of queues or squeezing through narrow gaps if they sense they can keep moving forward.
Of course there’s other reasons, but I swear to god that’s part of it.
Anyway, I digress …
So I have this bike and I ride it every day.
When I get to work, it’s always a bit of a nightmare, because I have to get it in the lift, go up to the 4th floor then somehow activate the security key to open the door, while holding a coffee and not letting my bike fall … because it doesn’t have a stand and it somehow doesn’t like leaning against a wall easily.
For months, I’ve been using a method that involves shoulder barging or wheel pushing the door until literally a week ago, I went …
“Why don’t I just leave my bike on the floor, open the door, then pick it up again?”
So I did, and unsurprisingly, it works.
Now this would obviously be obvious to you, but to me, it was a revelation.
The irony being, as a kid, I thought nothing of riding my bike as fast as I could then jumping off to let it free wheel ahead of me, before collapsing in a dramatic heap.
I wasn’t doing it to damage it, I loved that bike, it was just part of what we did as kids.
Along side pulling wheelies.
And jumping over a bunch of people who stupidly were lying down next to a few bricks and a piece of wood that was acting as a ‘jump off point’.
OK, so this bike costs more than my Grifter or Tuff Burner put together, but the fact my brain had deleted the option of ‘leave my bike on the floor for a second’ really intrigued me.
Is it because I now appreciate the value of money?
Is it because I love that bike so much, I never want it to get dirty?
Is it because I’m just a sad, thick, bastard?
Well, let’s be honest, it’s probably the last option … but I also think it is about just having a more care-free attitude as a kid.
I know there’s nothing new in that statement, but when you actually remember the fundamental difference between how you once were and how you are now, it’s quite a shock to the system.
Most of the time we forget how we once acted or we craft our memories to not feel so silly. And of course, there’s many things we do now that are a million miles better than we used to be … but that freedom you once had was – with the benefit of hindsight – quite infectious and yet so few of us realise that until it’s either too late or we’re hit with a moment of adult ridiculousness.
Or that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
Update: The wheel came. It bloody came. YES!!! What that means is my modern day BMX Tuff Burner is now complete. I know you couldn’t give a shit, but I love it – and given it is decidedly ‘old technology’, that is doubly amazing!
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