Keep it real

I started biking purely in order to get from A to B without having to walk.  I lived in Edinburgh at the time, was an art student, and my first bicycle journey was from my flat in the middle of Leith Walk to the Art College at Lauriston Place (about a mile and a half) .  My folks had bought me a bike for my 18th birthday-a no-brand ‘ATB’ that had it been taken off road would have most definately protested-much like myself at the time.  Exercise was something that I remembered vaguely from school and being made to run round muddy fields and getting caught trying to take a short cut so having to do it twice.

My bike was like a reflection of my myself at the time-a heavy but sturdy machine that worked but kind of took its time to get there and our maiden voyage together was an uphill one.  I lived in the middle of Leith Walk (opposite the Italian restaurant-my markers were food at that time).  I dragged the steel beast up the Walk until we got to the Old Post Office at the top of the Walk (anyone else old enough to remember that)?  It was at this point that I felt really light, almost airy in fact-I was having a whitey and all the blood had gone from all available organs to my legs hence the strange feeling.  I sat on the steps and slowly recovered, got back on the beast and made it up to college-just.  It got easier each day and I took to taking jaunts round the city, exploring all the bits I didn’t know by bike.  I got a rack, and a pannier bag.  I started loading up the beast with blank pieces of paper and pastels and drawing stuff that looked interesting-at the Docks, building sites on the West side, one day I even went to Portobello.

With more and more miles I got fitter and I had everything I needed either in my pannier bag or strapped to the bike-utility style.  We went everywhere together and when the frame broke I took it down to the sculpture department and they welded it back together for me and we set off on another adventure.  I loved that bike and the time I had it-it was crap really but I had some great times on it and discovered the city on it.

I liked the fact it was a bit ugly but extremely useful and combined the pleasure of riding a bike with a sense of purpose.

Now I have a really fancy bike that cost too much money, has all sorts of dials and settings on it and I tend to just go round in circles on it (when I have the time).  It doesn’t have a set of panniers and I don’t think there is anything steel on it at all :cry:

Keep it real.