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even if it's old junk

I am now Mags "two bikes" Halliday, having collected Faster Mule! Yah Yah! from my parents. It needs a lot more work than Woah Mule! to make it roadworthy again but I am feeling all enthused, having really just how old skool retro it is.

What’s the matter with the [bike I'm riding]?
Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?
Should I get a set of white wall tires?
Are you gonna cruise the miracle mile?
Faster Mule! was bought in 1982. For my siblings and I, the rule was simple: if you could ride the child bike when you turned 11, you got an adult bike. Having been unable to cope with the counter-intuitivity involved in taking corners as a kid, I spent the summer of '81 forcing myself to get the hang on riding a bike so that I got a real bike. Faster Mule! had a ladies' frame, 3 speeds, proper mudguards, angled handlebars and - and this is the thing I had forgotten - white wall tyres. My mum has also given me her old wicker handlebar basket, which has to be at least forty years old. So I've decided I'm going to spend a year or so renovating Faster Mule to turn it into a totally retro shopper and town bike.

It needs new tyres and inners, anyway, but I'm also going to do a new paint job, replacing the current (very late '80s) mottled green, purple and gold with a British Racing Green frame and purple mudguards. It also needs new brake pads etc. Faster Mule never did make it up the serious hills in Devon, so will be strictly for trips to the local shops or the riverside pubs, whilst Woah Mule will remain my everyday ATB.

I'm not sure where this newly-rediscovered love of bikes has come from. I think it's partially the exhiliration of road riding, where you have to be alert for cars, buses, pedestrians and dogs on extendable leads. Especially dogs on extendable leads. Coming back from the uni last week, I realised just how many dog walkers let the dog wander over the cycle path, creating a trip wire at just the right height for sending you over the handlebars.

Posted @ 5:26 pm on Sunday, March 12, 2006
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