Notes from Catherine Rowett, former Green Party MEP for East of England and deputy coordinator of the Eastern Region Green Party*(UK). Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Bicycles: episode 3

The end of the saga.

Monday morning this week I set off to the station to take the New Norwich Bicycle to Norwich. But on the very first rotation of the pedals I discover one thing that's wrong: the briefcase sits too far forward on the carrier it's clipped to, and my foot hits it as I pedal. I only checked that the bag would clip on; I didn't check that it was rideable. Bother. However, I press on, screwing up my foot to turn the pedal, because I want to catch the 0912.

Second, a hazard approaches, and I realise I forgot to fit the bell. I have a bell. It was waiting on the kitchen dresser.

Third, as I cross Mill Road the chain comes off again. It seems that the chain comes off every time you head for the lowest gear on the rear sprocket.

Fourth it seems that the back brake is distinctly less effective than I'd like.

Bother. The bike is not fit to take to Norwich. It needs more work. And it will need the kind of carrier to fit my briefcase, which I know I can get at Kingsway Cycles. So I lock it up at Cambridge station, next to Spiffy Bike, and proceed to Norwich without it. Now I have two bikes at Cambridge station.

I survive Monday and Tuesday still living with the Black Mountain Bike. But on Wednesday everything gets put right. I return to Cambridge in the morning (the excuse is a funeral at midday), pick up the New Norwich Bike from the station and ride it to the bike shop. Leave it there, to have carrier fitted, gears adjusted, brake shoes replaced and cable shortened. This will be done in a few hours. Hooray for Kingsway Cycles.

Later in the afternoon I collect the cycle and take it home. I fit the bell.

Then I ride My Cambridge Bike to the station, lock it up there, unlock the Spiffy Bike and ride it home. That's solved that problem. (The problem was that the Spiffy Bike isn't equipped to carry the luggage I have when I get back from Norwich for the weekend).

Then I ride the New Norwich Bicycle to the station and catch the train to Norwich with it. I ride it to my Norwich place.

Now that's all fine except for one thing... which is that Black Mountain Bike is locked up at the station at Norwich.

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