I don’t remember my first bike. Truth be told, I don’t remember a whole string of early bikes. But I do have photos to confirm that they existed. Oh, so many embarrassing photos. The earliest cycling photos I have are of myself on tricycles, so I suppose that’s how it all started.
Big wheel riding
I do remember seeing a “Big Wheel” tricycle, a la The Shining, and desperately wanting one. Obviously I had an early appreciation for fixed gearing.
And then came the BMX
I do remember a few of my early bikes: a red bmx that proudly said “BMX” on the down tube (along with a matching “BMX!” tracksuit in red and yellow), another bmx in chrome with sweet blue tyres, and a 20″ GT with gears picked up from a classified ad in the local newspaper.
Unfortunately, after an exciting afternoon razzing around the local park with my mates, I got home and left the GT outside the back door: never to be seen again. The grief and sense of loss is still with me now. Is that why I ended up getting into cycle insurance?
Riding with the family
We were a fairly outdoors-oriented family, so we all had bikes and went out for family rides on weekends, or took them on holidays to North Wales and the Peak District with us. The photo below was taken on one such trip to the Peaks (I’m the fat one with bad dress sense on the end of the line) to ride the Monsal Trail.
We couldn’t take all our bikes with us, so we hired extras for my brother and sister. The highlight of this trip was quite obviously the joy at having my own bike while my older brother had to attempt to look cool on a mauve girl’s bike called “Heather”. He still hasn’t lived that one down.
As I’ve grown older…
…I’ve moved through countless variations of bikes, some being ridden into the ground, some being sold or swapped with friends, one particular beauty having been nicked (again, but locked up this time).
I’ve moved between urban BMX pump tracks squirrelled away in the boroughs of Birmingham, riding in the commuter gangs of central London, and spending my weekends and evenings in the trail centres of North Wales.
Amongst the current collection of BMX, Fixie, Roadie, unicycle and MTB, my pride and joy is my Trek Fuel Ex 9. Although the latest Canyon Strive is pretty nice looking. If I can just scrape a few more pennies together… And I’ll need to adjust my policy again too…Jorj in the middle during the Bikmo 2015 Christmas away day