With Al Gore breathing down your neck and the hot, sticky public transport receding further from appeal, there’s no better way to get around the city than on your bike. It keeps you fit, makes you the envy of all those ‘Everybody Hurts‘ traffic prisoners and it’s probably the best form of voyeuristic urban appreciation available. There’s a bicycle out there for everyone, even you.
It’s never too late to pedal your way through the crowds, annoying the jealous, revving slouchers. There’s an
undeniable satisfaction to travelling on your own steam, reliant only on your own stamina and pace, no longer enslaved to the cruel rhythms of the public transport network.
Should you wish to pursue a serious career as a road-whiz, there are some excellent choices waiting to be made. A basic model – yet still a super fine piece of engineering in its own right – is the Charge Plug. Stylish and simple, this solid performer is the stripped down essence of practicality. Slightly higher up the scale is the Claude Butler Milano, a lightweight bike that gives you that tour de France thrill. It climbs fantastically, so don’t be afraid to take this elegant beast out of the city. At the very top of the game is the slick R1 20-sp 2008 Road Bike, essentially a road racer and really for the advanced rider, its streamlined handling is pretty much unbeatable.
For those wishing to ease onto the road, there are some excellent folding bikes to consider. The minimalist Mezzo D9 is a beautiful machine, offering an effortless urban glide and almost too easy to pack down and carry. At the other end of the scale is the Pashley Moulton TSR 30 DB, a hand-made work of art that will surely change the perception of the folding bike forever.
For super cool models, you can’t do better than to visit Bobbin Bicycles, who have an appointment only workshop that encourages riders to seek out the right machine for them – a kind of cycle boutique that offers a remarkable range from the cute, Classic Bobbin to the elegant Men’s Regal. No nonsense and great value, this is a great place to change your life.
Mr. Paolo Cabrelli