Tuesday, 18 March 2014

New (old) wheels

There's a new lady in my life: say hello to Clementine!

A sixties French bike, Clementine is a fold-up Peugeot I found on eBay. She came covered in rust, missing various bits and bobs, and single speed. Naively, I thought I could work out how to restore her (ha!), but she sat in the garden for months, looking increasingly sorry for herself.

Last week, I spotted a flyer at the gym for Black Beard Bicycles that promised full restoration and servicing of vintage bikes. In an unusual fit of proactivity, I called them the same day and took my poor old bike in to see Stefan. Five days later and here she is, back on the road, polished up and looking lovely; they did a totally amazing job with her. (When I first thought about restoration, I wanted to spray the frame red. But now that I see how pretty she looks, I'm going to stick with the orange.)

So, I think it's time to go shopping for biking accessories. I've ordered myself a helmet, but I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. I need a basket, a bell, and I definitely, definitely need a heart-shaped spoke reflector or two. Plus, there's a whole world of outfits to fashion that work on a bike. I'm thinking full skirts and plimsolls, or jeans and boots, maybe a mini-skirt and cape combo.

But most of all, I'm looking forward to family bike rides, trips to the park, picnics by the river. 

Got any tips for me? Let me know your top cycling secrets. Meanwhile, I've started a Pinterest board to fuel my new obsession.

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