I got a new bike at the weekend. It is a red one. I had to as my old bike, affectionately known as Triggers Broom on account that it had been smashed to bits by cars and me so many times I had replaced absolutely every single thing on the bike except the frame and the fork in the first year or so of owning it and countless times since (clarification if you need more is here), priced himself out of sure and certain resurrection with a broken seat post and shot brakes directly followed by a stolen back wheel.
So on Monday my new bike arrives, the DHL guy actually rang the bell as i pressed send on an email to the seller asking him where the fuck my bike was (100% TRUE FACT - ask Jim). This bike is fixed wheel so you brake by not pedaling, which is scary enough without the front and only brakes being held to the fork with cable ties - CABLE TIES? This bloke is trying to kill me... in the end all i had to do was drill another whole in the fork and get a little nut from the bike shop but still. Anyway brakes aside - the pedals - are not clip ins or even rattraps but like some hardcore webbing that you have to wriggle your foot in and out of which i imagine are not ideal even for an experienced rider of fixed wheel bikes With hindsight having a little go round the garden first might have been a good idea maybe with some stabilisers IN FACT I should have got me dad up for the day so he could hold onto the seat and run round the garden after me.
However I did not I wobbled out the end of my road and hit the A10 straight away at Newington Common absolutely no fucking control whatsoever feet came out the pedals almost straight away and i am in traffic legs akimbo like a newborn foal desperately trying to get my fat feet back into the peddle holsters while the pedals spin round at an alarming rate.
The whole journey in was a terrifying experience - i have a stopping distance of about 60 yards and the cars think i am taunting them - I was forced to jump a red at Morgate right in front of the old bill and just keep going because by that time I had given up the bike was riding me - i thought it best just to let it take me to work so i could get off and have a nice sit down and a cup of tea.
Honestly I have not been so out of control or so frightened on a bike since my first day as a courier when my handlebars loosened going round old street roundabout. Actually I have probably been much more out of control when I have reckoned that 6 pints is ok to ride home from Southwark or the time I left Brighton Road at 4 or 5 (after a night out and back to theirs from some Banachek hallucinogenic vodka) when ‘Triggers Broom’ refused to do anything but veer to the left no matter how much I steered, wrestled, shouted and pleaded even for a shred of leniency from the bastard. Luckily that was on bin collection morning so I was blessed with a crash mat of bin bags, cardboard and chicken bones outside Dixy chicken. Dixy man clapped. I walked the rest of the way.