Going Equipped

March 4, 2014

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.

The Third Sign of Madness

February 20, 2014

Pedal on Parliament

Stand by (or cover your ears, or unsubscribe if you must) for more cycle campaigny stuff because we have just announced the date of the next, and third, Pedal on Parliament. And for those of you still listening – please mark your diaries and start picking out your best bike so you can turn up and join the throng in Edinburgh on the 26th April.

We’re doing it because – well, any regular reader of this blog probably knows why we’re doing it. But for those who need a reminder, here are two (okay, technically they don’t live in Scotland but they would like to cycle safely here when they visit their aunt):

bike to school 2


It’s been a slow and frustrating build up as it took a long time to persuade the powers that be in Edinburgh that they really did want to close off their roads for thousands of cyclists, for some reason. But as we got the final nod, and started furiously updating everything and spreading the word, someone emailed

‘Let the madness begin…’

And someone emailed back within seconds


You know, I can remember when a walk to the post box constituted a busy day…