I bought a bike! I've been trying to for ages but not had time to get to bike shops when they were open. Today we went to John's Bikes in Arbury Court and explained what I wanted and John pointed me out a bike he reckoned would be suitable. It's not a classical Dutch bike but it has some similar characteristics, upright and sturdy. John only sells new bikes, and I sort of wanted to get second-hand but on the other hand, this bike fits my requirements, it's in my price range, and available now. I tried it by riding up and down the road and it felt pleasant, so I decided to go for it.
Talking to John, who is clearly a bike enthusiast, reminded me a bit of my Grandad who use to run a bike shop. But he died before I really got to the point of having adult conversations with him, so I mostly know about him from stories. I do feel sort of wistful that I can't tell him all about my new shiny bike and all the advances in technology of the past three decades, but I suspect that if my Grandad were actually still alive I wouldn't have gone 20 years without owning a bike of my own.
New bike is shiny and black and has Python written on it, so it needs a pythony name. Top candidates so far are Regulus and Apodora. But suggestions welcome, very much including programming jokes.
Getting the bike home was interesting; it's only a mile but it's along a lot of main roads. I ended up wheeling the bike halfway up Campkin Road, and then found one of those barely functional cycle paths by the school, one that has junction boxes in the middle of it and only goes for a few hundred metres before disappearing into road and pedestrian-only pavement. And then I turned off into the little backstreets where our house is and bravely cycled the rest of the way on the actual road. Going round parked cars is still scary but I think I will get used to it.
Definitely need practice at cycling on roads, but acquiring the bike gets me over the major hurdle.
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