Only joking. I don't even have a driving licence.
I must be the only person I know who has no form of transport whatsoever. All my friends have owned numerous cars and the ones that don't drive all have bikes. I've spent my life getting taxis and decided it was time to stop wasting money on them, at least during the day. I decided to buy myself a bicycle to run errands. My dad had given me some money so rather than spend it on clothes or going out I thought I should be sensible for once.
I haven't owned a bicycle since the Raleigh Shopper that my dad bought me in 1979. The colour can only be described as "electric" brown. It was a horrible looking thing but it was the seventies and everything seemed to be brown, orange or purple. I stopped riding it when I was sixteen.
Apart from borrowing the odd friend's bike to go the offy I haven't actually ridden one for twenty eight years. Don't worry, I shan't be going on the main roads - I'd be too lethal for other road users. I can get to Angel Islington along the canal from the end of my road or I can go all the way to Waitrose using only cycle paths, there's one main road which I can walk across. That should ensure my safety and everyone elses.
I started researching the type of bicycle I would like last week. I decided my favourites are made by Pashley. I told my friend Jon Cooke that I was getting a bike and I asked him what he thought my priority was. He said "Is it whether it fits in a cab or not?" Err, no but it made me laugh. My reputation for getting cabs precedes me.
I love the classic look of Pashley bikes
My friends thought it was hilarious that I was buying a bicycle. I'll look like Margaret Rutherford in Blithe Spirit.
So, which one to choose?
Pashley Poppy in pastel blue
Pashley Poppy in pink
Pashley Brittania in red
Pashley Sonnet in cream with claret trim
Pashley Princess Classic in Buckingham black (also comes in British racing green)
Pashley Princess Sovereign in Buckingham black (also comes in British racing green)
"The quintessentially English town and country bicycle with timeless traditional looks and impeccable build quality. Combine these features with reliable modern componentry and you have an unrivalled two-wheeled experience that will stand the test of time"
The Pashley Princess Sovereign is the Classic with extras - back carrier, stand, light, cover on the back wheel to stop your skirt getting caught etc. I couldn't justify buying a brand new one at £645 so I looked on Gumtree and found a year old Pashley Princess Sovereign in black for £400. The lady told me she's only ridden it about ten times. £30 in a cab later and it was mine. I hope that's the only time I'll be putting it in a taxi, we shall see!
The only problem is I don't have enough money left for the super expensive lock it needs, so I can't actually ride it anywhere where I have to leave it outside yet. I have to buy a extra strong lock so no one pinches it.
I'm very happy with my new bicycle
It's perfect, I can't stop taking pictures of it
My friend Frances took some pictures of me riding it up the road
Here's a movement shot
Of course I name everything. I've named my bicycle Pandora which means "A gift" I thought it sounded quite English in an Adrian Mole sort of way, although I know it's Greek. It was the first name that popped into my head. It was that or something Shakespearian as the bikes are made in Stratford-upon-Avon.
I promise to catch up with you very soon. I've really missed everyone again. I have to go out for dinner now but I have Sunday free I hope, unless something crops up. Fingers crossed I don't get dragged out tonight. I'm not very good at saying no.
Have a wonderful weekend xxx