Two wheels good, four wheels bad?

I am designed for comfort, not speed.  Anyone who has seen me run for a bus, or a lecture will be aware of this.

However, I do aspire to be fitter and healthier.  I used to be out on my mountain bike fairly regularly, but age, dodgy knees and a dodgy back have set me back over the years.

But, partly inspired from local blogger Brownhills Bob, and the great tax/NI savings available through the Cycle to Work scheme, which are substantial for me, I spent a very useful hour at Chasewater Cycles, firstly at the weekend (the fact that the local micro brewery had an open day too was a pure coincidence), and then today to get more advice and a written quote.

I’ve gone for a Kona Africa Bike.  It’s a sturdy beast, designed for, you guessed it Africa.  It’s got some nifty features too, including a built in lock, and european-style rear brakes attached to the hub, just back-pedal slightly to slow down (I found out about this sort of bike when on a German Exchange trip in 1984, tootling along the Straße at a fair old rate of knots I started to back-pedal, and promptly disappeared over the handlebars.)

It also comes with a feel-good factor too, that for every two bikes sold in the ‘developed’ world, they commit to send one bike to Africa.  So I can get a warm glow without even straddling the crossbar.

I’ve not skimped on the accessories, lights, trip computer, another (two!) locks, pump and a reflective gilet should keep me and my steed safe.  All being well, it’ll be with me in a couple of weeks.

It’s not an inconsiderable commute for me, but I’m determined to give it a go.  It’s also Bike Week this week, so what better time to dust off that old jalopy in the back of the shed.


1 comment so far

  1. Richard Treves on

    Good stuff Andy, if you can get into the habit you won’t look back. Its worth investing time in working out back streets to avoid heavy traffic. My fold up dahon is my most common form of transport in London, although today was not an elegant example – train from clapham junction to wandsworth common was packed so me, folded bike and 2 paniers squished onto carriage and, when the doors opened at WC I fell out unceremoniously much to the amusement of said packed train.


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