The Bicycle

When we think of a Bicycle,some people are interested in theTour de France,and some are interested in Track racing,Touring,or Camping, Cycling Holidays.I am a Cyclist of some sort,as I have spent a good deal of my life on one form of bike or another.In the days when most children took themselves to school,to be fair, people were a lot more fearful of the Law many years ago so it felt safer for our parents to let us go to school on our own.I was one of those kids who would go to school on an old bike that was given to me by an uncle. The bike wanted to be a racer or should i say that i wanted to have a racing bike.Every three months or so I would totally strip my old ex sit up and beg bike with the Sturmey Archer three speed hub gears during holidays, and give it a new coat of paint.The difference being that I would not part with the three speed hub or the twenty six by one and three eighths inch wheels,instead of the then twenty seven by one and one quarter inch racing wheels that were necessary to make it look like a racer.What I did not realise was that I was basically running with the herd when it came to conformity instead of going with what I knew to be more comfortable.Although I wanted my bike to look like a racer I did not want to lose the values that it already had.
There was one thing that put me in a different league to some of the others and that was having the ability appreciation and satisfaction of being able to turn something old into something of respectable beauty,well that`s how I saw it.However the other kids would laugh at this home made abomination,but I did not care what they thought,that bike was as good as there brand new racing bikes,after all it did the same job and I built it myself,no one can take that away.The other good thing ,from my perspective was that if someone was unlucky enough to have there bike stolen mine was left alone. The problem today is that everything and not just bikes change very fast,so there is little or no time any more for people to appreciate the values of putting something together for themselves,so they can  feel the joy of seeing the results of what they have achieved,  and  the pleasure of doing it for themselves.It is something to make one feel proud and appreciative.Sadly we live in a throw away world and values are few.But having said that,the Bicycle will always be with us and they will be worth there weight in Gold when all of the Fossil fuels run out.      By John  Sefton.


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