Top Gear

I think it may be time for a new bike. Actually, I think two years ago may have been time for a new bike, but back in London my bike performed its main job – not being stolen while locked up outside Vauxhall station – admirably while still managing to be more or less ridable in the flat former malarial swamplands of South London. But up here, where there are hills, it’s another matter. Technically, my bike has six gears if you believe what is written on the gear lever. In London, I mostly just cycled around in fifth, having decided to save the top gear for an unspecified emergency, sort of like turning the amp all the way up to eleven. Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks of riding around I find that its actual gears are as follows:

6: Top gear. Still saving for an emergency. Running away from dogs?
5: Suitable for flat bits. Not much use at the moment
4: Going up small hills
3: As far as I can tell, exactly the same as 4, but makes a strange rattling noise. Would be useful for going up small hills while warning, say, horses of my approach if I were ever going faster than a horse while going up a hill
2: Going up steeper hills, if it weren’t for the fact that the bike doesn’t like it very much and tends to pop it back into third.
1: Not sure what this does, as I have never managed to get into this gear. Possibly reverse.

So there you have it. Added to the fact that both mudguards are held on by mud and force of habit, I think it’s time to go shopping. The other half has 21 gears and claims to use all of them. This may be why I now only recognise him as a diminishing dot on the horizon…

9 Responses to Top Gear

  1. Howard Cain says:

    Mmm. Sounds like a little TLC wouldn’t go amiss. A replacement cable, a spot of lubrication and all six gears would likely be yours for the asking!

  2. Flighty says:

    It sounds like you’re talking yourself into getting a new one! You were looking at some recently I seem to recollect!

  3. nikkipolani says:

    I don’t know anything about bicycles, but it sounds like you are in need of one that will get a lot more range of use than your city one did.

  4. disgruntled says:

    Ah,it’s beyond TLC, I’m afraid. The gears might be sortable, but the rusty forks are terminal. It’s twenty years old – as my mother puts it, it doesn’t owe me anything. Something that weighs less might be nice too…

    Freecycle beckons

  5. Dom says:

    New bike is expensive though. I know, I looked at buying one a while ago. In the end my Dad said I could have his old one as he never uses it… a year on and I’m still waiting for him to bring it up to me 🙂

  6. Howard Cain says:

    The wrong end of the country for you, but perhaps Specialbike might breathe more life into your old steed. I don’t think that you’d save much money but you’d get a really sound machine for it.

    I also like the idea of refurbishing good machinery instead of scrapping and buying new.

    The closet treehugger in me, perhaps.


  7. Sarah says:

    If you live in a hilly land you need a bike with three rings at the front. A big one for normal roads, a middle one for hills and a granny ring that you never need to use (honest).

  8. Sarah says:

    If you live in a hilly land you need a bike with three rings at the front. A big one for normal roads, a middle one for hills and a granny ring that you never need to use (honest).

  9. disgruntled says:

    Come to think of it, this is my Dad’s old bike, borrowed many years ago and never given back. Perhaps I should return it.

    Sarah – that’s what the other half has, I think. I definitely need more gears than even my notional six if I’m going to get decent use out of the bike and avoid buying the dreaded second car

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