Going Equipped

My mum was asking what I wanted for my upcoming birthday the other day – ‘any more bits you need for your bike?’ – and I had to say that, since its last service, when I finally got a kick stand put on, there really wasn’t anything more me or my bike actually needed.

bike with accessories
My bike was already a bit of a fred bike (strictly speaking a doris bike) when I first got it – in the sense of a bike which has been modified for comfort and practicality rather than speed or style. With its mudguards, rack and touring bars it already deviated from the norm for UK bikes – and as I have since added a Brooks saddle, now perfectly moulded to fit (and matching Brooks tool roll, thanks Mum), semi-permanent pannier bag, dynamo lighting and Japanese alloy bell – not to mention spikey winter tyres – it is now (to my mind) perfect, and to everyone else’s mind a bit weird – and that’s before you add the rider in wellies, rain skirt and non-ironic tweed cap. I’m hoping it will render it unstealable,* as apparently any bike thief worth their salt sticks to ‘normal’ bikes by which they mean flat barred aluminium hybrids, preferably with front suspension, and frankly they’re welcome to those.

I may joke about N+1, but the Brompton aside, I’m really more of a one-bike girl, so the bike has tended to bear the brunt of my Mrs Armitage-ish tendencies. However, I did think as I rode out this morning that bike and I are more or less complete – at least until I break down and fit an electric motor in time for my 80th Anniversaire.

Or so I thought – until a parcel arrived in the post this lunchtime with the one must-have accessory every bike in Scotland should be wearing:

Pedal on Parliament poster

Feel free to admire my bike in the comments…

* I do – mostly – lock it up all the same. Ahem. When I have remembered my lock.

10 Responses to Going Equipped

  1. Viviane says:

    I admire your bike, but would be totally unable to dismount it without falling flat (I already fell flat once with my girlish bike when dismounting). Could we have a picture of you on your admirable bike ?

  2. The perfect bike is the one that suits you and what you use it for.

    A good bike evolves over time, and this melding of rider and machine is part of the magic that makes cycling and bicycles so special.

    Especially love the saddle, being a Brooks lover myself too

  3. Charles says:

    Deceptive picture in that no rain, no coat, no hat, no wellies and therefore quite unrecognisable – genius.

  4. John Gibson says:

    it is now (to my mind) perfect.
    You should not have said that.

  5. Pimp that bike! There is always room for a little bling.

  6. Andy in Germany says:

    That is a handsome bike, I have to say.

    My bike became a Fred the day I fitted the Xtracycle on the back, although I didn’t realise what was happening at the time It since gained all kinds of practicale bits from a posh brass bell to a miudflap made from old inner tubes, and will soon, no doubt continue evolving.

    I’d never heard of the concept of a ‘Fred’ bike either until I read this post, so thanks for that. I embrace the Fredness.

  7. bertbeerpot says:

    Nice bike.

    Why did I not know about Mrs Armitage before?

    Mine is a 22 year old Dawes Super Galaxy, but with new handlebars, rack, seat, stem, brakes, chainset, bottom bracket, headset, mudguards, wheels and … err … frame (surly cross-check). It’s still the same bike though.

  8. disgruntled says:

    We must all embrace our inner freds

    Mrs Armitage’s first name was surely Doris

  9. […] did I really think a year or so back that my bike had reached peak Fred? Since then I have not only added a hub dynamo (and a cow-patterned pannier bag) but the other half […]

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