I have cycled for the past year and a half in London. It is wonderful. I have saved so much time and money avoiding the clammy tube, waiting for buses or being late and walking. However I feel like karma has come along to keep me in check this past week. Although I know many fellow cyclists whom have come off their bikes for whatever reason (being drunk on Boris Bikes – seriously not recommended/ safety warning, it being a driver’s fault or pure idiocy), I have only had one knock in my time, due to a loose piece of cobblestone, about 2 inches wide. Fortunately I was fine and there was no one to blame.
Firstly karma paid me a visit last Monday, I got a flat tyre. My first since being in London. Finding some time on the weekend I proudly fixed said puncture. Fortunately I live very close to a bike shop but my visits went a little like this.
1. Buy pump.
2. Return to shop to ask how to use pump (having thought I’d fixed the puncture by this stage)
The man in the shop then told me that even when being pumped up correctly, the wheel was still soft, there must be another puncture. Determined not to be beaten, I went home (carrying my bike up those 3 flights of stairs) and searched for puncture #2. But alas, I only discovered that my first one was not properly fixed as some water had got under the seal. Having replaced this I then returned to the bike shop for the third time, utterly defeated.
It was at this point that I was told that it was easier/ cheaper to buy new inner tubes than to fix the puncture and that I also needed two new tyres because mine were cracked. That was £50 gone, having already paid £15 for the pump! (At least for the time I have had it, it still works out cheaper than an annual Boris Bike pass)
Although I had to stomach the bill and swallow my pride, it was a delight to be reunited with my darling bike, until…… This morning, happily cycling along I tried to alight the curb to avoid some current road works. Unlike the cyclist in front of me who did so with ease, my bike was less keen on the idea, landing me and my face flat on the pavement. The kind cyclist in front heard my slip and stopped to check that I was ok. Aside from a slightly red and puffy cheek (which just looks like I just went a bit too far with my blusher) I am fine and I was also pleased to be wearing my helmet.
So kids (myself included), the moral of this story is that cycling in London is great but pushing yourself to save an extra couple of seconds on a journey is really not worth it. Those seconds multiply your risk of injury ridiculously. I wasn’t even running late today!