might not be what it used to be, but reflecting the
other night on why I would want to ride out to work
in the wind and rain to tackle the errant drivers
of the world,
I realised how much cycling had been part of my formative
years and beyond.
must have been 26, or possibly 27 years ago that I
first rode without stabilisers. It's one of my earliest
memories, which should have alerted me to the potential
obsession ahead. My bike was metallic powder-blue,
and there was a lane between our house and a bit of
wasteground, which had a fence running alongside.
I didn't get my first taste of wobbling along in some
open expanse with something soft to land on - this
was learn or be hurt!
I did learn, and from that moment on I followed a
natural evolution in bikes which most boys my age
will have encountered.
family moved north (for the benefit of those in the
south that doesn't mean I moved to Watford, this northern
trip was from Newcastle to Aberdeen!) and I acquired
a Strika. It was the perfect feat of engineering for
a young lad - virtually bomb proof, with large chunky
tyres just asking to be banged up kerbs. The styling
attempted in my ways to copy motorbikes, no less so
than with the fake suspension boots on the front forks.
while friends about me moved onto Grifters, with their
fancy colour-coded gears, I stayed loyal to my Strika,
heading out with youthful exuberance on 10 mile rides
without a thought for telling my parents where I was
going, or wearing a helmet.
there was shortly to be a new cycling revolution which
I couldn't ignore. The world suddenly went BMX mad!