So the obvious thought crossed my mind... does that mean I'm allowed a new bike then? Now don't get me wrong, my bike's pretty good in many ways, but it is a bit old and creaky. For example, while I don't think I need 24 gears to cross Waterloo Bridge, only having 3 does make it hard work for an old duffer sometimes. The dynamo is truly terrible. The back brake ain't all that. And so on.
My ideal bike would still be a Dutch-style 'Town Bike' - I do regularly use all the features, even the built in lock. Just maybe slightly better all round than I have at present. So let me fantasise a bit... I want:
- A good strong frame with absolutely no sporting pretensions whatsoever
- For riding comfort, the largest frame I can actually get astride (in my case that's about 21")
- Also for comfort: traditional large wheels - 26" or maybe even 28"
- Full mudguards - and I quite like the look of those 'coat guards'
- A men's (high) or unisex (medium) top tube to bolt MMVII's saddle to
- High swept-back handlebars for a proper sit-up-and-beg riding position
- Comfortable saddle (I hear good things about Brooks leather saddles, once you've worn them in)
- Built in rear wheel lock - ideally also with an extending cable. Great while dropping MMVII off at nursery
- Hub gears still, but more than 3. They come with up to 14 gears now, which is getting a bit unnecessary I think: 5 to 8 would be plenty.
- I'd also love a 'coaster' brake at the back, where you pedal backwards to slow down
- A hub brake at the front as well - plus a built in hub dynamo
- LED dynamo lights with capacitor 'stand' light, so they stay on even when you're stopped at a junction
- A kickstand
- A proper traditional bell - or possibly even a horn
- Fully enclosed chain guard (why on earth would you leave oily mechanical bits like that exposed to the weather?)
- Rear carrier, ideally with luggage which doesn't look like a bike pannier
- Maybe a front carrier too
Velorbis Churchill Classic 21", it's Danish designed, German made, and it costs about 6 months' worth of not going on the Tube. Tempting! Darling MCMLXX, can I get one if I PROMISE to keep riding it through the winter...?