Simon’s Cycle Shorts are now available to buy in both paperback (£8.39) and Kindle (£2.99) editions from Amazon. HERE
I never quite knew whether I was better off being owned or stolen, but having been in both camps I think I’m now entitled to have an opinion. Being owned by James had its positives; complete adoration from a weak-kneed banker, dry rides only, plenty of time indoors hung on the wall as a work of art for dinner party debate, and even the occasional overseas trip. But the downsides probably outweighed them; a heavily overweight rider, inappropriate set-up (well, certainly for a bike of my class), inattentive home servicing which amounted to no more than regular Muc-Off Bike Cleaner rub downs….didn’t he know about air pressures, brake adjustment and chain replacement? I’m the cycling equivalent of a formula-one car you know? I need top levels of care and attention, and I do not need 28mm section tyres!
The day I was stolen was quite amusing. James had taken me on his usual Saturday morning ten mile ride to the café in Windsor where he always met up with a group of friends and had cake and coffee – for at least two hours – before riding me home. I’d been sat there in the sun in all my technological glory for hour or so against a low wall – my tyres had been a bit low when we’d started out but, due to the intense heat from the direct sunlight, they were now fit for bursting. James and the others were, as usual, sitting about ten feet away behind the café railings and chatting about banking business and wives and children, when I saw the young man with pale skin walking towards me; he was looking quite intently at me. I’m guessing he must have noticed my wireless SRAM shifters and my pro-level hydraulic disc brakes, and most probably my monocoque carbon frame swathed with Pinarello decals; I think he also worked out that I wasn’t locked in any way shape or form. I was free to be taken by whoever wanted me. Ninety-three kilos of banker in Speedplay cleat-shod cycling shoes would take an age to even get to his feet, let alone chase any abductor of mine.
In the event, James didn’t even notice that I was had gone until I was a hundred metres up the road; I thought he’d liked me more than that; Terry simply walked me away. It was better than funny.
So what was it like being stolen? Well, initially it was a bit dull; I was left in a garage for a couple of weeks somewhere in Windsor. My kidnapper, Terry, did finally ride me away from the cafe after James decided he would put in a spirited chase on foot – now that was genuinely hilarious! James wasn’t a runner which, in itself was quite amusing, but the sublime moment was when one of his cleats slid on a dog turd and his huge lycra sheathed ass ended up on top of it. I laughed so much my chain rattled. In the event, my time with my new owner, Terry, wasn’t exactly a step up from James at all; he didn’t clean me or service me either – he didn’t even put air in my tyres.
So I guess I might have been looking a little bit sorry for myself when a couple of people were brought in to look at me.
“I just bought it on the ride to work scheme and, well, I never used it much so I’m selling it.” This was Terry’s line to what turned out to be prospective buyers from somewhere called Gumtree.
“I’ll give you £250 tops mate.”
“Nah – these things is worth a mint – it cost me five and half grand, you know.”
“£500 – no more.”
“£600 and you got a deal.” I couldn’t believe it. I was only a year old and I still had all the leading edge technology available for a bicycle – and I was being sold for only ten per cent of what my original owner had paid! Madness.
Well, they obviously decided to do a ‘deal’ and I was then taken away to a better garage in Reading where I was left for another couple of weeks and where, at least, they put some air in my Conti’s. Soon there were more people, and more haggling – this time they were from another place I didn’t know either – Ebay?
“I’ve had the bike a couple of years – I did the Etape – you know, in France? – then my knee went so I’m just not able to go out any more. I’ll take £2,000 – I think she is worth every penny – and that’s a lot less than I paid for her I can tell you.” It seemed a strange thing to say because my new owner hadn’t so much as even sat on me.
Well, I am still stolen, of course, but now, at least, I have an owner that actually wants to ride me properly and who probably doesn’t know I was stolen. I was bought by Charlie’s Dad who couldn’t afford to buy a new bike as good as me but knew that his son was a ‘prospect’ and so he needed to get the best he could for him.
This season we’ve been competing in races at the Hillingdon circuit in West London and Charlie is starting to win; he’s even got a coach. So he’s good, and even their mechanic looks after me properly. I think me and Charlie could go places. But sadly, the other bikes won’t talk to me because they know I’m stolen. So it’s not all good.
Simon’s Cycle Shorts are now available to buy in both paperback (£8.39) and Kindle (£2.99) versions from Amazon. HERE
Copyright © 2016 by Simon Bever. All Rights Reserved