Yes that’s right, not clothes, not makeup, not even a new sofa – the current object of desire on my radar is a bicycle. The cycle craze in the UK has gone off the scale since the Olympics and Bradley Wiggins’ triumphs last summer and, while I don’t see myself donning the Lycra and breaking a sweat while racing around Surrey Downs on the weekends (or any other time for that matter), I have recently rediscovered the joys of cycling. In fact, until a couple of months ago I hadn’t even ridden a bike since I was 17 and had a summer job on a pick-your-own farm a couple of miles from my parents’ house. But then in June I went to an outdoor concert with some friends and, as the weather was nice, it was decided that we would cycle to the venue. My husband was dispatched to my parents house to pick up my old bike, which had been sitting in their garage for the last 20 odd years, and bring it home to pump up the tyres and oil the chain. The old saying is true – ‘you never forget how to ride a bike’ – and after a slightly wobbly start I quickly got the hang of it again. Since then I’ve been on bike rides with my son, cycled to the shops and also found that a bike is particularly handy for nights out with friends when you don’t want to fork out for a taxi home.
But while my bike still works, and is now so retro that it actually looks kind of cool, it does feel slightly rickety and also needs new lights. So I’ve got my eye on this Victoria Pendleton Somerby bike (£279.99 from Halfords) – it’s not a racing bike exactly but perfect for the kind of cycling that I want to do. In my mind I see myself cycling along, Parisian style, with a fresh baguette and some organic veg in the basket, wearing a cute pair of capris and ballerinas with a scarf tied nonchalantly around my head. And that, of course, is where the fantasy stops because to stay safe on our heavily trafficked roads and to set a good example to my kids (how can I expect them to wear one if I won’t?) I’ll have to wear a helmet. As we all know bicycle helmets aren’t exactly renowned for their stylishness, but after surfing around the net I discovered that they’ve come a long way in the last couple of decades. Here are three brain protectors that I would be happy to be seen in:
Sawaka Furuno Ribbon Rose helmet from Cyclechic
Powder Pedals from Nutcase Store
Gold sparkle helmet from Nutcase Store