Due to some strange loophole or legislation I’m just about to embark on the Ride2Work scheme from Evans Cycles. By paying for the bike over a year through my wages I make a saving of about 40% allowing me to get a shiny new bike to ride, the first new bike that’s come my way since 1993! Going even further back, this is the first time I’ve actually paid for a bike since I was about 10!! So here’s the chronology (without the dates!). Aged 10ish, Mum and Dad buy me a red Raleigh Chopper, which I adore. By the time I’m 13 I’m far to grown up for a Chopper and we sell it for more than they paid for it (what a BIG mistake that was!). With the proceeds of the Chopper I buy a red Raleigh Pacer. A rather natty racer which lasted me until I was 19, when I sold it for the same as I paid for it and bought a Raleigh Mustang. Raleigh Mustang stayed with me and covered many miles, coming to college in Birmingham with me, where it got nicked, sans saddle circa 1993. A small but legitimate insurance claim ensued and I bought my current bike, a red Diamondback Outlook for the same amount as the payout. And here we are, 30 odd years since we last paid for a bike!
…anyway, I did my homework and went for a sturdy hybrid they call the ‘Kona Smoke’. Looks the part, steel frame and more gears than you can shake a stick at. I went down to the Evans Rathbone Place store to try the ride for size and it fit well so I put down a deposit to ensure no one beat me to the sale. All seemed fine… until today when I arrange to go and pick up said bike and ride it (mostly) home. Apparently the bike got sent to ‘the warehouse’. What is this ‘the warehouse’ of which you speak, I asked… Sounds like a mythical place where bikes go to die, I thought. To be fair, it took three people to check a store room the size of my lounge (i.e. not very big!) to find a big black bike and they all failed and as it turned out, someone had booked the bike back to ‘the warehouse’ just as I put down my deposit. Unlucky me. To his credit, the manager was very helpful and made my wait of over an hour for a non existent bike worthwhile. I have been told the bike will be delivered to my house next week, which will save me the ride from W1 to Harrow.
And this time… it’s not red!