Cycling to Work

by Tillie

Hi Coco! After almost a year muttering excuses like “I don’t know the route” and “IT’S REALLY FAR” I have finally begun cycling to work from my newish home, Wimbledon (which isn’t actually that far). Still unsure of my miles, it’s about 20km to do the round trip, and takes me an hour. I cycled in a slightly different way with a colleague and that only took 45 minutes! I am a huge moron. Still, the longer commute has necessitated a few investments, and I am in the process of pimping my ride with lights (long overdue), a rear rack and a capacious pannier, because throwing all the things I need for a workday into my basket (even though it is giant) is not ideal.

Now, I am all about Pashley, but I was disappointed to learn last week that I can no longer order accessories directly from them, so had to do a famous Evans ‘special order’, just like that time I was told that a replacement tyre would take two weeks. (Two weeks? That’s slower than Airmail, and their factory is in Stratford-upon-Avon!) I was also told that they don’t sell dynamo lights separately anymore, so I had to buy a battery light instead, which is fine, except that it keeps falling forward no matter how tightly I turn the “self-tightening” screw. Looks like I’ll have to improvise with some wire.

And while I’m having a moan, why couldn’t Pashley come up with a better name for my bicycle? I went to my favourite shop Evans again today, in what is becoming some sort of weekly punishment, and when one of the 400 sales assistants asked “which Pashley do you have?” I had to say “the Princess”. Why does my bike get a crap name like that, when their other models are called cool things like “Britannia” and “Sonnet” and “Guv’nor”? Even the “Poppy” models sound less lame than “Princess”, and they come in baby pink or light blue, when the Princess only comes in the much more street-cred black or dark green.

I’m also having gear trouble: I have no 1st gear, and 2nd and 3rd are really loose. I consulted the Pashley Manual, but the instructions for gear adjustment may as well have been written in interpretive dance for all the sense they make. Today is the V&A Bicycle Picnic for Bikeminded, so I hope I can at least get to Holland Park without freewheeling.

Huh?

I finally have a front light, though it doesn't stay up properly.

Albert Bridge, which features prominently on this blog. As one of the sections of the route I have to walk, it invites taking out the camera.

Crossing Albert Bridge

Wimbledon Park Station, which is a favourite landmark on the way home, because it means I'm only one tube stop away. Note the sign for a fruit sale called "Abundance Wimbledon" in the foreground! *QUAINT ALERT*

I am sure to get fab legs from heaps of cycling to work.

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